It’s winter and it’s cold … even here in Charlotte. If you have added electrical space heaters to those certain rooms that need a bit more warmth, here’s a few tips to help keep you and your family a little safer.
According to www.esfi.org, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. For that reason alone, it is a good idea to take all the precautions necessary to keep your home safe.
1. When you took that heater out of storage, did you inspect it thoroughly? Never use a heater that shows any sign of damage to its cord or plug.
2. Space heaters should be located at least 3 feet from anything that can burn. And let’s face it, that’s includes most things, so take special notice of the location you decide to place it.
3. Don’t use extension cords. Plug the heater directly into the outlet. Yes, we know it is tempting, but consider how much power it takes to run the heater through a cord that was probably designed for much smaller things.
4. If you have children or pets, identify their common play area and place the heater a safe distance.
5. A space heater should never be left on without supervision. They are meant to provide warmth on a temporary basis and do not have all the added safety features of a long-term heating unit.
A space heater can be a welcomed addition on an unusually cold day. It can provide extra heat to exactly where you want it. With certain precautions it can be just what you’re looking for in the room you spend time in.
Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need electrical repair or installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!
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Oh, how we love to make our homes beautiful for the holidays! Our lawns become a wonder for cars passing by and our Charlotte homes become a showcase of holiday spirit for visiting guests. But most do not stop and consider how much extra power they are running through their outlets at this time of year.
Here are a few safety tips to consider when decorating.
Now that you’ve gotten all those decorations out of storage, take the time to inspect all the wires. We tend to reuse decorations from year to year without giving enough thought to the age of most of them. Those that need electric should be given extra attention for safety, while the others are usually keepsakes that we treasure even more over time.
As you dispose of old tattered incandescent lights, consider replacing them with low wattage LED lights. They produce less heat and require less energy, a win-win.
Remember to keep all those wires away from heat sources. The insulation on those wires is there for a reason. Don’t take the chance of any of it melting and exposing the wire.
You might be tempted to keep attaching those strings of light together, so that you can plug them all into one outlet. Don’t do it! That is just too much to ask from one single outlet of your house to withstand. Try to spread the power you need over several circuits whenever possible.
Carrying on the live tree tradition in your home? Make sure to keep that tree watered! Some decorations put off more heat than others, and you don’t want to take a chance with a tree that is dehydrated and begging for water.
Lastly, turn off and unplug all those decorations before going to sleep. You’ll be keeping your home safer and save a few dollars at the same time.
Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need help with your electrical service or installation this holiday, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!
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A flickering light bulb is more common that you might think. A slight drop in your Charlotte home’s voltage can cause your lights to dim momentarily … or flicker. Here’s a few things you can check before calling your local electrician.
Loose bulbs. Sometimes the easiest solution is the right solution. Make sure the bulb is not loose and is properly seated in the socket.
Type of Bulb: Fluorescent lights tend to flicker more often than the more energy efficient LED light bulbs. The easy answer is just to replace the bulb. Hopefully that will solve the problem.
Dimmer switches: Low voltage LED bulbs can often flicker on these types of switches. Dimmer switches expect to be controlling higher voltage items and can cause lower voltage bulbs to flicker.
Faulty connections: Sometimes a switch can go bad over time, as do most things in our home. See if the on/off switch has a bad connection and is causing the flickering. You should also check the outlet where it is receiving its power, to make sure the prongs are not bent or damaged.
Appliances: Our appliances can sometimes require a surge in power when they are in full operation. You may have noticed your lights flicker when your washer or another appliance turns on. If this is a common occurrence, you should consider calling an electrician to help you decide if your home’s circuit is being constantly overloaded.
These are just a few examples of common reasons why your light bulb could be flickering. If you experience a sudden change in your home’s electrical system, you should always err on the side of caution, and give your friendly electrician a call.
Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need help with your next appliance installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!
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If the only outlet that is not working is in your bathroom, then it is likely that it is a GFCI outlet that needs to be reset. GFCI outlets (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) are a must have in rooms that have the greatest possibility of water making contact with electricity, like the kitchen and bathroom. GFCI outlets help protect your family from shock.
There is a small button between the plug-ins. If the outlet detects a problem with the circuit , it automatically trips. Try resetting it and see if the power returns.
Why GFCI in the Bathroom?
Water is a highly conductive element. Electricity can travel along its path, and without warning, produce dangerous shocks to those nearby. GFCI outlets are a warning system to help keep that from happening.
GFCI Continual Issues
If you need to regularly reset your GFCI outlets, then a problem exists that can be a danger to your home and family. That would be a good time to call a licensed electrician in to diagnose the problem.
Often in older homes, the outlets have not been updated to GFCI in rooms with water sources available. We suggest updating those indoor rooms, as well as outdoor outlets that can come into the elements and produce the same deadly shocks.
Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need electrical service or installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!
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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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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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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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Thanksgiving 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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Halloween 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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Fall 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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