Monthly Archives: December 2015

Four Bright Ideas for Avoiding Electrical Problems in Charlotte This Winter

heater isolatedWinter can take a major toll on your home’s electrical system. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year there are over 26,000 fires caused by electrical problems, with December and January being the most dangerous months.

From routine inspections to appliance maintenance, the wide range of services performed by the professional electricians at Douthit Electrical can not only keep you safe but can help save you time and money this winter — and all year round — by ensuring your home’s electrical system in tip top shape.

Check out these four bright ideas for avoiding common electrical problems in Charlotte in this winter.

Schedule an inspection

Schedule an electrical inspection of your home’s wiring if you haven’t already or if you haven’t had one done within the last decade. This is especially important for older homes where outdated and deteriorating electrical wiring can be a common problem. Never assume your home’s wiring is okay without a thorough professional inspection. Today’s modern electrical gadgets and devices can be especially taxing on older circuits that were never designed to meet their demands. Inspecting and replacing any outdated wiring will not only make your home safer, but it can also improve efficiency.

Exercise caution when using seasonal electrical appliances

It’s important to inspect the condition of seasonal electrical appliance such as decorative lights, electric blankets, and space heaters, especially since it’s likely you haven’t seen or used them since last winter. Look out for frayed or worn cords and other signs of damage. Be sure to use appliances and lights per the manufacturer’s instructions, being especially careful of possible fire hazards. Buying new? Choose appliances and festive lighting with a safety seal of approval from a reputable safety organization such as the Underwriters Laboratory for added security and peace of mind.

Ensure your CO and smoke detectors are working

When was the last time you tested your carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors to make sure they’re working? The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends testing your CO and smoke detectors at least once a month and replacing the batteries at least twice a year. For an extra measure of safety consider upgrading to hardwired fire and carbon monoxide detectors, which only use batteries as backup.

Always call a professional electrician

There are plenty of DIY projects to do around the house during the winter, but taking on electrical problems simply isn’t one of them! Without proper knowledge of electrical safety and systems, performing DIY electrical work can be dangerous if not fatal. While it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of potential electrical problems, always leave it to the professionals to repair them.

Regular maintenance of your home’s electrical system is an excellent way to avoid the hassle of dealing with electrical problems during the winter, a task we’re happy to help with at Douthit Electrical. Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities year round! We’re only a phone call away!

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How to “Sleigh” Common Electrical Problems in Charlotte Right in Time for the Holidays!

Christmas Room Interior Design, Xmas Tree Decorated By Lights PrElectrical decorations are a great way to get into the joyous spirit of the season but failure to properly install them can pose some pretty serious risks. According to recent data from the Electrical Safety Foundation International, home-based electrical systems are the cause for nearly 55,000 fires a year, resulting in over 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. Furthermore, electrical fires cost a whopping $1.4 billion each year in property damage.

At Douthit Electrical, electrical safety and your satisfaction are always our top priorities. We understand how important the holiday season is, and our experienced electricians are happy to help with your electrical holiday lighting in Charlotte.

Whether you’re hanging a few lights or creating a spectacular lighting display that’ll leave the neighborhood Joneses green with envy like the Grinch, here are a few easy ways to avoid common holiday electrical problems.

Inspect your electrical decorations

You won’t be able to safely put on much of a holiday lighting display with electrical decorations that are worn, frayed, or otherwise damage. Considering it’s likely you haven’t seen them since last year, it’s important to closely inspect your electrical decorations for signs of wear, such as torn insulation which can drastically increase the risk of short circuits and fire. Repair or replace any faulty equipment before installing it.

Use the right kind of lighting

The best kinds of electrical decorations are those that have been approved and tested for safety by a nationally accredited laboratory such as the Underwriters Laboratory. Look for the seal of approval on the packaging. In addition, never use lights and electrical equipment designed for indoors use only outside. Looking for ways to save on lighting energy costs? Consider using energy efficient, low wattage LED lights instead of old incandescent lighting. Not only do they use less energy, but they also produce less heat, reducing the risk of electrical fire.

Avoid using the same outlet

It can be tempting to string holiday lighting and decorations together from the same outlet, but spreading electric decorations across multiple circuits is the safest way to install them. Plugging too many things into the same outlet puts a significant amount of stress on the circuit and may cause it to overload or worse, spark a fire.

Consider using a timer

Leaving electrical decorations unsupervised can be potentially dangerous as they can become overheated due to being left on for an extended period of time. Use a timer or be sure to remember to turn the lights off before bed or when leaving the house.

Exercise caution in all areas

A jolly “ho-ho-ho!” can easily turn into a big “Oh-no-no!” if you aren’t careful! In fact, hospital emergency rooms experience an influx of patients with injuries related to hanging — or falling over — holiday decorations during this time of year. Never use a metal ladder when hanging or taking down string lighting to reduce your risk of electrical shock or fire. Always keep walkways shoveled and when necessary, tape cords down to prevent falls. And remember to always keep your tree watered! Fresh, green trees are far less likely to ignite than dry, brittle ones. Buying an artificial tree? Make sure it’s fire-resistant.

Our electricians want you to have the happiest and safest holiday possible. We understand how frustrating and intimidating troubleshooting electrical problems can be, so never hesitate to give us a call for all your Charlotte electrical needs, both big and small!


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