Tip of the Month
Protecting kids from electrical outlet injuries is simple. Tamper-resistant receptacles (also known as child-safety outlets) look like standard receptacles, but they include automatic shutters that admit plugs and block other objects. These receptacles are safer than plastic outlet caps (which young kids can easily remove) or sliding-shutter wall plates (which may cause potentially dangerous heat build-up). They have demonstrated their effectiveness in hospital pediatric care areas, where they’ve been required for years.
The Electric Company can inspect your home to see if you have tamper-resistant receptacles installed and replace your old receptacles if they do not meet code. Call us today to schedule your apointment.
Kitchens & Bathrooms
One of the newest, and arguably best, requirements in the electrical installation code has to do with water. As you know, water and electricity don’t mix too well, so it’s in our best interest to keep them apart. To help make certain they don’t mix the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates all kitchen outlets be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI). The NEC also requires all outlets within 6 feet of a tub or basin to be GFCI.
For good measure, The Electric Company of Atlanta recommends GFCI outlets in all kitchen and bathroom electrical installations.
There’s a lot of talk recently about “going green” and global warming. Well, whether or not you believe the hype is irrelevant, because one of the easiest ways to battle global warming will also reduce your electrical bill. And who doesn’t want to reduce their electrical bill?
According to Energy Star, replacing your existing light bulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will save you $30 per bulb over the life of the bulb. That may not seem like a lot, but think about how many light bulbs are in your house. Now, think about how often those lights are used. Compact fluorescent bulbs use 2/3 less energy than their incandescent counterparts and they produce 70% less heat. Those are big numbers that add up to big savings over time. They may even help save our planet.
Extension cords generally come in “safety orange” for good reason. Manufacturers want to make sure you can see the cord running along the driveway or snaking its way across your workbench. Why? Because cutting an extension cord is bad for everyone.
Underwriter’s Laboratories, the world famous UL, warns to never use an extension cord that has been cut or damaged. Touching even a single exposed strand of wire can give you an electric shock or burn. So, don’t take any chances. Replace damaged cords right away.
Never overload electrical outlets and circuits. Overloaded electrical outlets, or circuits that supply power to several outlets, is a major cause of residential fires. Overloaded outlets and circuits carry too much electricity, which generates heat in undetectable amounts. The heat causes wear on the internal wiring system and can ignite a fire.
All wiring systems have circuit breakers or fuses that disconnect power when circuits become overloaded. However, an improperly sized fuse or breaker can cancel this built-in safety feature.
To prevent overloading, never plug more than two appliances into an outlet at once or “piggyback” extra appliances on extension cords or wall outlets. Use only outlets designed to handle multiple plugs.
To help reduce your appliances’ energy consumption and costs, try following these guidelines:
- Set your thermostat to 78°F to reduce cooling costs during the summer
- Lower your water heater temp to 120°F
- Use your washing machine on cold as often as you can
- Dry consecutive loads of clothes to take advantage of retained heat
- Keep your refrigerator between 37° and 40°F and your freezer at 5°F
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs wherever you can