Category Archives: Electrical Safety

New Year Checkup for your Charlotte Electrical System

It’s always a good time to do a basic electrical safety checkup of your Charlotte home. This week let’s take a look at the health of our indoor outlets.

  • Have you noticed any of your switches or outlets not working?
  • Do any of your switches or outlets seem to be discolored?
  • Do any of your switches or outlets get warm when in use?
  • Have you noticed any popping or cracking from any of your switches or outlets when you use them?
  • Do plugs still fit snugly into all outlets?

Take a look around your room. How many outlets do you see? We often don’t realize just how many outlets we have in our homes until one stops working. It only takes 1 faulty outlet to create a disaster. In most cases, a licensed electrician can quickly fix a faulty outlet and recommend any additional safeguards you might need.

Watch for our future posts on tips about the use of extension cords in our homes and the safety of our fuse box. Our simple list of things to look for can help keep your house away from electrical mishaps.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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Outdoor Holiday Lighting Choices for your Charlotte Home

What a beautiful time of year this can be! If you’re considering making your Charlotte home a holiday wonderland, have you decided which lighting is the right one for you?

There are so many types of lighting now to choose from.  Here’s just a few decisions you should make before going on that lighting shopping trip:

1. LED or incandescent? Incandescent lights are cheaper, but LED lights will last longer and are much more energy efficient.

2. Bulbs come in so many shapes and sizes. There is no right or wrong answer, but consider where you will be attaching your lights before you go shopping. Will you be attaching to the house, decorating the bushes, lighting up trees? You can have bulbs, net lights, rope lights, oversized ornaments, and the list goes on and on.

3. Do you have everything you need to install the lights correctly? Do you have a power source to turn all those lights on?

We can never stress the importance of GFCI Installation enough. Douthit Electrical can help you decide if you need an upgrade. Don’t let all that work go to waste. Ensure that your Charlotte home is safe and that your home is a joy to behold.

Call the experts at Douthit Electrical to make sure your home is ready for holiday lights! Make sure to check out our money-saving coupons when you call. We’d love to help keep your home lit for the holidays!


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Electrical Kitchen Appliance Safety for the Holidays in Charlotte

Holidays mean different things to different people, but for most of us it means time with family/friends and huge holiday dinners. The kitchen is where almost two thirds of home fires start. That’s why making sure to practice electrical kitchen appliance safety is so important.

GFCI outlets are at the top of the list when it comes to making sure all those kitchen appliances are hooked up safely. Find out why at our blog post, “Why GFCI Installation in Charlotte is So Important for Electrical Safety“.

Microwave/Blender/Food Processor should always be kept away from water sources. Also, if they don’t seem to work as well as they once did, they should be replaced. Take care to keep their cords away from anything hot.

Stoves will see a lot of use during the holidays. Make sure they are clean and in good working order for all that cooking. Keep an eye out for anything that could catch fire while your guests are “checking” on dinner.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of fire in the home … usually caused by unattended cooking. While it is easy to get distracted with so many guests, take special care to not have a fire interrupt your holiday.

When it comes to electrical repair and replacement, call the experts at Douthit Electrical to help keep your Charlotte home and business safe! Make sure to check out our money-saving coupons when you call to make an appointment.


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Why You Should Always Plug Outdoor Tools and Lighting Into GFCI Outlets in Charlotte

GFCI Ground Fault Interrupter Circuit OutletThanksgiving is here and many of us have already started hanging up decorations to celebrate the holiday season. If you like to hang lights outside around your Charlotte area home you want to make sure that they are plugged into a GFCI outlet. If you do not have a GFCI outlets the electrical safety experts at Douthit Electrical can easily provide this important safety upgrade.

What Is a GFCI outlet?

A ground fault circuit interrupter are special outlets that stop the flow of electricity when they sense that a person is being shocked. They are normally installed in areas where electricity and water may come into contact. They are commonly used outside because of rain and snow and the potential for electrocution. If you use power tools you should also be using a GFCI outlet. A GFCI outlet will protect your power tools and appliances from electrical damage.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Keep your Charlotte, NC home safe from fire and your family safe from electrocution. Hang those holiday lights but make sure to plug them into a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets are hassle free but should be installed by an expert. For fast and friendly service you can count on call Douthit Electrical today.

 


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6 Scary and Spooky Signs it’s Time For New Electrical Outlets in Charlotte

Electrical FailureHalloween might be scary, but electrical hazards such as worn or damaged electrical outlets are far more frightening! Not only do damaged and outdated electrical outlets interfere with how well your electrical appliances work, but they also increase the risk of electrical shock and fires.

Along with customer satisfaction, safety is a top priority at Douthit Electrical. Electrical outlet replacement and repair are examples of important Charlotte electrical upgrades that will make your home safer and more energy efficient.

Take a look at these six scary and spooky signs it’s time for new Charlotte electrical outlets!

  • They aren’t GCFI outlets To minimize the chance of electrical fire and shock, all outlets in any home or business should be GCFI outlets; no exceptions! If you have any outlets that aren’t GCFI’s, call us immediately to have them replaced!
  • Your home is a few decades old and hasn’t had an electrical upgrade Historic homes are filled with character and charm due to their age, however time takes a toll on their electrical systems. Outdated electrical outlets and wiring pose many dangers, so it’s important to schedule a Charlotte electrical inspection with us to identify ways to make your home safer.
  • Sparks If your electrical outlets spark when you plug in an appliance or device, it needs to be replaced immediately. Sparking poses a major fire hazard and is typically the result of a short circuit or worn connections.
  • Circuits frequently and suddenly trip A circuit that frequently trips is not only inconvenient and maybe even a bit spooky, but it also indicates it’s time for electrical upgrades, such as new electrical outlets.
  • Wobbly and loose sockets Constantly plugging appliances and devices in and out can cause the spring mechanisms in electrical outlets to become loose. It may seem harmless, however these loose connections are a serious fire and safety hazard and should be repaired immediately.
  • Burned, cracked outlet plates Never plug an appliance or device into an outlet that is cracked or discolored from burns. This could indicate a number of major safety concerns, such as overheating connections. Cracked outlet plates expose loose terminals that put the entire household at risk of electrical shock.

Charlotte electrical upgrades are a must when it comes to electrical safety. When it comes to electrical outlet repair and replacement, trust the experts at Douthit Electrical to keep your home and business safe!


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Indoor and Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips for Fall in Charlotte

Raking fall leaves with rakeFall is a season of big change, and these changes can have impact on your home’s electrical system and how you use it. Although electrical safety should be a priority year round, fall activities, holidays, and cooler temperatures make being diligent about electrical safety especially important this time of year!

Ensuring the safety and satisfaction of our customers is a year round job at Douthit Electrical, and one we’re happy to do. Our wide range of professional Charlotte electrical services help our customers stay safe with the passing of each season. And with the arrival of fall, you can always “fall back” on Douthit Electrical for electrical system maintenance!

Use these simple indoor and outdoor electrical safety tips for fall in Charlotte!

  • Keep ladders, trimmers, and other outdoor tools and equipment away from overhead wires Whether you’re cleaning the gutters, hanging lights, or trimming branches, staying clear of overhead wires and avoiding contact at all costs is essential!
  • Safely store your seasonal outdoor equipment To prevent electrical shock and malfunctions, it’s important properly store warm weather equipment. Drain lawn mowers, trimmers, warm weather tools of fuel and store in a safe, dry area. Before using cold weather tools like leaf blowers, check their cords and batteries for signs of damage.
  • Keep dry leaf piles away from outdoor lighting, outlets, and power cords As fun as they are to jump into, dry leaf piles can be a potential electrical fire hazard and should be a safe distance away from electrical appliances, lighting, and power sources.
  • Always plug outdoor tools and lighting into GFCI outlets Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GCFIs, are crucial when it comes to electrical safety. They help to prevent electrical fire and shock by cutting off the flow of electricity when it becomes unstable.
  • Know how to use your electric blanket and space heater properly The improper use of electric blankets and space heaters can result in electric shock or fire. Never use these devices if their cords are damaged or frayed and be sure to strictly follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Never run electric cords under rugs You might be tempted to cover up the sight of an electric cord by throwing a rug over it, but doing so increase the risk of electrical fire.

Falling for these electrical safety tips will help to keep your household safe as the seasons change! Fall is also a great time for Charlotte electrical system maintenance and electrical upgrades. For fast, friendly, service you can count on, call Douthit Electrical!


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5 Signs it’s Time for an Electrical Panel Upgrade in Charlotte

Indoor Home Open Electrical Breaker PanelThe electrical panel can be seen as the “brain” of your home’s electrical system. It’s “smart” enough to trip or cut of flow of electricity when there’s an electrical overload in order to prevent electrical fires. Because electrical panels play such an integral role in your home’s electrical system and its overall safety, it’s important to know when it’s time for an electrical panel upgrade.

At Douthit Electrical, our professional Charlotte electricians strive to take the guesswork out of helping our customers practice electrical safety and maintain their home’s electrical system. If you’re ever in doubt as whether or not you’re in need of a Charlotte electrical panel upgrade, you should call us and schedule an inspection. When it comes to electrical safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

So how do you know when it’s time to have an electrical panel upgrade performed by our licensed Charlotte electricians? Here are 5 signs your electrical panel needs an upgrade ASAP!

  • If you have to rely on extension cords and power strips It’s much safer and far more practical to upgrade your electrical panel and have more outlets installed instead of being overly dependent on extension cords and power strips.
  • If your home still has a fuse panel and doesn’t rely on an electrical panel With so many new kinds of electronic gadgets and tech, today’s home need a safe way to deliver clean, uninterrupted power to all of these devices. And while there’s technically nothing “wrong” with fuses, they’re extremely outdated — and not in a cool, trendy kind of way. Fuses can usually be found in homes built before the 1960’s, and are incapable of meeting today’s electrical demands. They’re inefficient and unsafe!
  • If your electrical panel is “acting up” If the electrical panel is constantly tripping or you hear snaps, crackling, and popping noises coming from it, or none of your electrical appliances seem to be working right, call us to schedule service right away!
  • If a home remodeling project is in the future Home renovation projects require a lot of electrical power, so may need to upgrade your electrical panel prior to construction in order to safely supply more power and accommodate the addition of any new major electrical appliances, such as a new hot tub, refrigerator, or air conditioner.
  • If you have old, worn, and faulty electrical wiring Some things, such as wine or cheese, improve with age. Electrical wiring however, sees a sharp decline in both efficiency and safety as it ages. If your lights constantly dim or flicker, you feel a slight tingling or mild shock when touch an electrical appliance, or you catch a whiff of a burnt smell near an outlet or see signs of discoloration around it, it’s definitely time for Charlotte electrical upgrades.

For electrical panel upgrades in Charlotte, upgrade to friendliest and most knowledgeable electricians in town by calling Douthit Electrical!


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How to Prepare for a Summer Power Outage in Charlotte

Hot summer temperatures provide the perfect opportunity for enjoying outdoor activities, but these temperatures also increase the likelihood for power outages to occur due to stormy weather and a strained electrical grid. Not only are summer power outages inconvenient, but they can also pose electrical hazards.

You can minimize the stress and electrical safety risks associated with summer power outages by preparing in advance, and that’s something the experts here at Douthit Electrical are happy to help you with! Our experienced Charlotte electricians can help you identify ways to make your home’s electrical system safer by performing services such as generator maintenance and surge protection.

Here are a few simple ways you can prepare your family for summer power outage in Charlotte!

  • Create an emergency kit and keep it handy Having the lights suddenly go out can be alarming and disorienting, which can make it difficult to find a flashlight, batteries, or other necessities you might need during a power outage. Assembling a power outage kit ahead of time and keeping it in a safe, easy to access area of your home means you won’t have to frantically scramble around in the dark.
  • Know how to use your generator safely Having a generator can be a real lifesaver, but using one without knowing how to do so safely is extremely dangerous and can even put your life, and the lives of those around you, at risk. If you’re ever unsure about generator safety in Charlotte, call us immediately!
  • Prevent circuit overload Flip any light switches that were on before the power went out to the off position in order to prevent an electrical surge once the power is restored. You should also unplug any major appliances that aren’t plugged into a surge protector, but the best thing to do would to be call us in advance and take advantage of our Charlotte surge protection services!
  • Have a family back up plan Creating a family back up plan can reduce confusion and stress during a power outage. Keep a physical list of emergency contact information and shelters handy in the event your cell phone battery dies. Review emergency procedures with your household.
  • Check your home’s fire and security systems In some cases, a power outage may reset your home’s thermostat, fire alarms, security system, and even your sump pump. Be sure to check all of these once the power is back on to make sure they’re working as they should.

We get it; a summer power outage can be scary! But the only thing scarier than a summer power outage is not being prepared for one. For help with power outages and other electrical emergencies in Charlotte, call the professionals at Douthit Electrical!


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5 Outdoor Electric Grill Safety Tips for Charlotte

Although safety should always be a priority when preparing food on a grill, electric grills require a few more safety precautions than their charcoal or gas counterparts. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by outdoor grilling each year, which is why being aware of electrical hazards and practicing outdoor electric grill safety is so important.

At Douthit Electrical, the only thing more important than the satisfaction of our customers is their safety, which is why we go the extra mile in making electrical safety a top priority. If you have an outdoor electric grill or are considering getting one and are concerned about safety, you can rely on our professional Charlotte electricians to address and resolve any potential electrical hazards.

Here are 5 simple outdoor electric grill safety tips for Charlotte residents.

  • Turn it off before turning it on Ensure all the knobs are completely set to off before plugging your outdoor electric grill in and using it. This quick step can prevent electric shock and fire.
  • Avoiding grilling in rainy weather Electricity and water are a dangerous combination, so even if your outdoor electric grill is plugged into a GFCI outlet, you still shouldn’t use it in rainy weather. While the cords are able to withstand outdoor elements, the slightest amount of rain significantly increases your risk of electric shock.
  • Is your outdoor electric grill grounded? Before using your outdoor electric grill, make sure that it’s plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. These outlets significantly reduce the risk of electric shock or fire by tripping the circuit if there’s an imbalance in the electric current. GFCI’s are essential for outdoor electric grilling! If you need a GFCI outlet installed for outdoor use give us a call.
  • Inspect wiring for signs of damage Always check to make sure your outdoor electric grill wires are free of cracks, cuts, and other signs of damage before plugging it in. If the wiring is damaged it must be replaced before the grill can be used. Be sure your wires are completed untangled and out of the way to prevent trips and falls.
  • Location is everything An outdoor electric grill should only be used when it’s at least 10 feet away from your home, or anything flammable which includes a wooden deck or patio.

Nothing tastes better than a meal that was safely prepared on an outdoor electric grill! If you have concerns about your outdoor electric grill or electrical safety in general, don’t hesitate to call Douthit Electrical for fast, friendly, and professional electrical services in Charlotte!


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How to Avoid Electrical Service and Utility Reading Scams This Summer in Charlotte

Technician reading the electricity meter to check consumptionYour home’s electrical system works hard during the summer, but fake electricians and utility readers are also hard at work trying to take advantage of trusting homeowners. In the past, you may have received sales calls about energy savings or reducing your electrical bill that were easy to dismiss, but scammers have since gotten smarter and can be hard to ignore if you don’t know what to look out for.

When it comes to electrical safety and energy savings, don’t trust just anyone! Rely on us, the professionals at Douthit Electrical and our variety of highly reviewed electrical services in Charlotte. As a licensed, insured, and professional electrical service with an A+ BBB rating and decades of experience, you can always trust our experts to put your family’s safety and satisfaction first!

Here’s how you can avoid fake electricians and utility scammers in Charlotte this summer and year round.

  • Always ask for identification. Any person that attempts to access your home or property should present identification without hesitating. Ask for an official photo ID and ensure it has an electrical contractor’s or utility company’s logo on it, as well as an ID number. You should also ask for their professional license and insurance. If in doubt, call your utility company immediately.
  • Check out their uniform and company vehicle. Are they wearing a uniform with the company’s official logo? Are they driving a company vehicle emblazoned with the same logo? Everything should match, including their ID!
  • Never give out personal information. A professional electrician or utility company representative would never call you out of the blue or come over unannounced and ask for your sensitive and personal billing information for services they’re trying to sell you. For example, many scammers will claim your service is about to be shut off for lack of payment or that you need an emergency electrical inspection in an attempt to get your money and information upfront. Don’t do it!
  • Do you know where your meters are located? Most utility readers are located on the outside of homes, so there’s no reason for someone that claims to be a utility reader to enter your home. If someone insists on coming to read your meters although they’re outside, close the door and call the police!
  • Go with your gut. True electricians and utility company meter readers are well trained professionals and should never be aggressive or make you feel uncomfortable. Always err on the side of caution if you suspect a scam. Share this information with your entire family, as seniors, children, and teens are especially vulnerable.

For top notch electrical services in Charlotte that you can count on, always trust the professoinals at Douthit Electrical!


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