Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Decoration Safety - Electrical Precautions

Many people to extra care and safety while trick-or-treating, but few consider the safety of their guest trick-or-treaters. Make sure your outdoor electrical decorations shut off immediately if shorted out.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wiremold: Vertical Solutions for Open Spaces

The Vista column is the perfect solution for the smart integration of power, communications and A/V to open spaces.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Legrand Lighting Management
Delivering just the right lighting, where and when it's needed. Legrand's solutions offer technical compliance on building energy efficiency requirements, but they also go further, enabling significant energy savings and cuts in running costs while creating a safer, more comfortable environment for building users. Legrand's new lighting management solutions make a valuable contribution to green building initiatives such as Breeam, Leed, HQE and Green Star.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Home Electrical System Safety

The electrical system is an essential part of your home, yet it's often taken for granted -- and that's a dangerous attitude to have when it comes to electricity.

Understanding the basics of your electrical system can help you identify and avoid potential hazards.

This video from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) provides a brief introduction to the different components of your home's electrical system, includes tips for identifying electrical safety hazards, and explains some advanced electrical technologies that can make your home safer.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Using Electrician Services for Home Improvement

A residential home is a major investment, so it makes sense that you would want to make periodic improvements to it over time. Both modest upgrades and major renovations can promote increasing property values, and they can also help you to enjoy living in your home more fully through improved function and enhanced ambiance. Whether your goal is to promote pride of ownership, to increase property values or both, you may benefit from putting the services of a skilled electrician to use with your next project. An electrician may not be the first type of contractor that you consider calling for an improvement project, but this professional's services may benefit you in a number of ways.
Enhanced Lighting
One way that an electrician can help you to achieve the goals that you may have for home improvement is to install enhanced lighting. Light fixtures may be found in most or all rooms of your home, and they can have a dramatic impact on the style of the space as well as energy consumption in the home. Whether you are working on improvements to just one room or want to tackle the whole house at once, an electrician can install enhanced light fixtures. For example, you may upgrade the lighting in your kitchen or living room to include recessed lighting, or you may install a spotlight to highlight a beautiful painting in your home. Outdated fixtures may be replaced with more modern, stylish fixtures.
Significant Renovations
Electrical wires run throughout many of the walls in your home, and if you are thinking about making a significant renovation in your home, you will need to use the skilled services of a licensed electrician. The electrical wires may need to be removed before a wall is taken out of your home, and you may need to run new wiring to a new wing or room that is being constructed. In addition, if you have plans to relocate major appliances, such as when remodeling the kitchen or laundry room, you may need to use the services of electrician to move the power outlets. These are just some of the many ways that an electrician may be used effectively during a renovation.
Electricity is vital in every room in your home, and an electrician's services can be used to promote improved ambiance, aesthetic appeal and function throughout the property. Consider contacting an electrical contractor today to discuss your upcoming improvement projects in more detail.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Are DIY Electrical Repairs Safe?

You may be surprised to learn that the number of people willing to perform do-it-yourself electrical repairs at home grows greater every month. Many consumers, in an attempt to save money in difficult economic times, think they can do without hiring an electrician to perform simple tasks at home.
It may be easy to dismiss this issue as a passing phase. It may also be easy to think that most people would be mindful of their own safety and would take no risks even when performing the simplest electrical repair task at home. Unfortunately that is simply not the case.
There is, as the movie of the same name tells us, a clear and present danger. Performing even the simplest electrical repair in the home can be fraught with danger and difficulty and when you weigh up the odds you should come to the conclusion that unless qualified repairs are performed, you may have a ticking time bomb in your house.
Let's take a simple example like changing a faulty electric light switch. This is probably one of the more common repair jobs that home handyman like to attempt. It seems like a relatively straightforward process and many websites are available to offer step-by-step instructions. But before you embark upon this apparently simple task consider the following.
  • Are you competent enough to do a voltage test on the line and determine what would cause the line to not register?
  • Can you check the circuit breaker or fuse to make sure it is in good shape?
  • Are you even competent enough to use a voltage tester?
  • When replacing a three-way switch with red, black and white wires do you feel competent enough to strip the end of the wires, wrap them around the screws and tighten them back up again?
  • What do you do if things don't work after you have done your 'repair' job?
These are but a few questions which need to be answered and even if you are able to answer yes to all most of these questions, the final question remains: do you feel competent enough to perform these repairs and guarantee the safety of your family?
The most vital question to be asked when the issue of the do it yourself repairs arises is clearly one of safety. Whilst it is true that using an electrician may cost a hundred dollars for even the simplest task, think of it as an insurance policy that guarantees you and your family's safety by having repairs done properly and professionally.
It seems like a no-brainer when deciding to spend such a small amount of money for the peace of mind it actually brings.
Whilst the Internet can be a great source of helpful information, you can in no way be assured that what you are reading is actually safe to perform. We have all heard horror stories of children who found recipes for explosive devices on the Internet only to discover that they lead to deadly results.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Things the Home Inspector Will Look for During the Electrical Inspection

A professional Home Inspector is responsible for visually checking the electrical system during the home inspection and safety is always the number one issue any Home Inspector will be inspecting for while doing the inspection. The Home Inspector will certainly have a basic understanding of the electrical system of a house, but they're certainly not required to do a code inspection at the home.
There are numerous things that your Home Inspector examines in the inspection that will be outlined within the home inspection report which sometimes winds up in negotiations and might not really be fixed. Home Inspectors will certainly recommend that all the repairs be finished prior to the closing, and yet it often doesn't happen this way.
All of the work performed regarding the electrical system of the property needs to be repaired using a qualified electrical contractor.
This is a list of the most common things we write up in Home Inspections:
  • Exposed or unprotected wires anywhere within the home; these are typically found in crawl spaces, attics and even basements and garages
  • Outlets with an open or missing ground
  • GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupters) not placed in the correct areas; GFCI Outlets are commonly recommended in the kitchen areas over the counters, all bathroom plugs, Garage outlets, outlets on the outside of the home, outlets in unfinished basements and crawlspaces.
  • GFCI outlets which are not working properly are going to be written up and it should be replaced or repaired
  • Solid aluminum branch electric wires shall be reported on
  • Open junction boxes in addition to any exposed wire splices
  • Any dangerous circumstance is going to be flagged as a safety concern
  • Any unsupported electrical wires within the crawl spaces as well as attics
  • Problems including; handyman wiring, improper use with drop cords as well as any dangerous conditions
Issues that should be reported on and identified in your property Inspection Report:
  • Check the amperage of your home and report on the condition of it
  • Check and also report on the electrical service entrance cables of the house and the overall condition
  • The Inspector will ideally test a representative number of the electric lighting fixtures inside and outside of the home
  • The electric utility service panel along with all sub-panels has to be examined and reported on if it can be accomplished safely
  • If smoke detectors are present inside the home and whether or not they're functional
  • The condition of grounding of the electrical service
  • The location of the primary service disconnect switch for your electric equipment
  • Any dangerous condition which restricts any Home Inspector from performing your inspection should be detailed within the home inspection report
Electrical items which will not be recommended to be checked and documented on:
  • Voltage or impedance and measure the amperage
  • Remote control equipment within the house
  • Low voltage wiring is not required to be checked and reported on
  • Any electrical system existing which is not a necessary part of the primary electrical power supply to the home
  • The Home Inspector is in fact not expected to inspect any situation that may very well be unsafe

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Electrician Shopping - 6 Steps to Choosing the Right Electrician

When you're looking for an electrician, look for someone with whom you can form a long-term relationship. It's going to save you a lot of time and money if you can find someone whom you trust to get the job right the first time and give you the right price.
Step 1) Find Recommended Companies
You can get recommendations for electricians from friends and neighbors. You can also search on-line for electrician Los Angeles or electrician Burbank, and so on. If you add the word reviews to your search, you can look through company reviews.
Another approach is to search websites that feature reviews. Reviews appear on many websites including Google Places,,, and is an excellent source of recommendations for contractors but requires a small annual membership fee. On AngiesList, you can see how customers rated their contractors, including electricians, and details of how their jobs went.
When looking at customer reviews, take a look at the big picture. Is there one bad review among the many good ones? Is it just a grumpy customer? Is there a company reply that clears things up or says that it has corrected its employee?
Once you have three or so recommended electricians, take a look at their websites.
Step 2) Check the Electrical Company Website
· Is it presentable and well-maintained?
· Easy to find what you're looking for?
· Friendly, helpful, and not cluttered with hard-sell advertising?
· How many good testimonials?
If the website checks out, it's time to interview the electrician.
Step 3) Interview
When you talk with the electrician, pay attention to how comfortable you are, including your trust level. I've listed questions that you can ask. If you've already gotten glowing recommendations or it's a small repair job like fixing a broken light switch, you probably wouldn't want to ask them all. But if you aren't talking with a recommended electrician and you're planning a remodel, ask away.
· Experience with your type of work
· Years in business. Most companies which have stayed in business a long time have managed to keep their customers satisfied. They've also gathered a lot of useful experience and competence.
· Contractor's License Number
· Liability Insurance and Workers Comp Insurance. It's desirable that the company carry at least $1 million in liability insurance to protect your home should their work create property damage. Workers Comp provides for medical care for the electricians should they be injured on your job. Again, this protects you from liability.
· Guarantees. Some companies offer a lifetime guarantee on their work. This wouldn't generally include the electrical parts that they install - that's covered by the manufacturer's guarantee. However, the electrician should give you at least a several-year guarantee on labor. A guarantee up to the life of your home is best.
· Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Ask for the exact company name that you should look and in which city. Sometimes, the BBB will use a slightly different name, possibly the formal legal name of the company.
· Pricing
· Website address if you don't already have it
· Names and contact info for five clients
Take notes on all this, particularly the License Number. If you decide to go ahead, you may wish to check some of what the electrician has said. If you decide not to go ahead, no need to proceed any further with this electrician. But save the notes so that you can remind yourself later of which companies you've already ruled out.
Step 4) Look and Listen
While you're gathering this information, listen to what is said but also pay attention to how the electrician acts and makes you feel. If you meet with the electrician, keep your eyes open, too.
· Do you like the electrician?
· Do you feel comfortable and not under pressure?
· Does the electrician inspire your trust?
· Do the electrician and company employees seem to know what they're doing?
· Do they seem to operate legally and behave ethically? Are they acting the way that you would want them to act towards you?
· Do they return phone calls promptly?
· Are they timely when meeting you for appointments?
· Do they listen to your questions and concerns and answer them in a way that is forthcoming and that you can understand?
· Does the electrician dress neatly and have a vehicle and tools that look well-maintained?
Electricians who are bidding jobs are on their best behavior. If you already notice that an electrician treats you or others in ways that concern you, better to find another with whom you feel more comfortable.
Step 5) Check It Out
· If you haven't already, check customer reviews. The first section of this article gives details.
· Enter the Contractor's License Number into the Contractor's License Board website for your state. See if there are any "black marks."
· Check the company's rating at the Better Business Bureau at Ratings run from A+ to F based on customer complaints made to the Bureau. As a note, an "A" reflects the same level of customer satisfaction as an "A+." The "A+" is earned by an "A" contractor becoming a paying member of the Better Business Bureau, which supports the Bureau in its work.
Step 6) Call References
Don't hesitate to call references. Customers are usually happy to give a good recommendation to help a deserving electrical contractor. You can return the favor later should a homeowner call you. Ask:
· How did your job go?
· Was your job done right the first time?
· If a return visit was needed, was the electrician easy to work with and prompt?
· Was company pricing competitive?
· Was the electrician within budget and schedule?
· Would you be happy to continue to use this electrical company?
Speak with at least three references. Listen carefully for enthusiasm or lack of enthusiasm about the electrician. Clients, past or present, may not feel comfortable saying anything negative. If they express little enthusiasm or say something negative, take this into consideration when making your decision.
A Final Tip: Don't Automatically Choose the Low Bid
A bid may be too low. How can that be? An electrician may intentionally omit items that the job requires, only to come back later saying that additional work needs to be done. On the other hand, some electricians may unintentionally bid low through inexperience. Either way, the electrician may ask for more money to finish the job or may leave you with an incomplete project.
Price is important, but judge the entire picture an electrician is showing you -- character, expertise, the ease of working with him or her, and overall value. A large part of an electrician's value is that he/she gets the job done right and safely without taking too much of your time and inconveniencing you. A very competent electrician can save you money by suggesting more efficient ways to do a job or to save on electricity. When you enjoy a good relationship with your electrician, it can save you both time and money.

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