Electrical Safety Tips for Kids

Electrical Tips for Children If you have kids in the home, whether they’re always there because they’re yours or they’re just visiting, it’s a good idea to go over some electrical safety basics with them.

Electrical Safety Precautions to Share With Your Children

For instance, tell kids not to plug too many things into one outlet or overload an extension cord. As much as it seems like “no big deal” to do so, the truth is that having too many things plugged into one or two outlets can end up overwhelming the circuit. At worst a fire could result, and nobody wants that to happen.

Speaking of outlets, with kids around it makes sense to have parents or the adults-in-charge put safety caps on all unused electrical outlets. Not only does this help save energy by stopping cold drafts, but it also prevents babies and toddlers and others from sticking their fingers into the outlet area where they could get a bad shock or worse.

Teach kids not to yank cords from the wall. Instead, teach them to literally go up to the outlet and pull the cord out from it right there. If and when a cord is pulled from anywhere besides its head, damage can be done to the plug, the outlet and/or the appliance.

Another thing: cords need to be kept out of the way so people don’t trip over them. Furthermore, if a cord can be placed in such a way that a pet can’t easily get to it, that’s great– too many dogs and cats have chewed cords and gotten shocked– not good. With little kids around, too, it’s best to find ways to keep them away from cords whenever possible– they’re not toys to be played with.

Kids also need to be taught that water and electricity don’t mix. So, for instance, they have to be extra careful in the bathroom when using things like a hair dryer near the sink, toilet or bathtub.

Finally, with regards to electricity outdoors, kids should know not to play on or near electrical boxes/substations. They need to stay away from power lines. And if they fly a kite, which kids like to do, make sure they’re not flying the kite anywhere near power lines.

If you need help repairing the electrical lines in your home, contact the experts at Always on Electric, Inc. today.

When is it Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring?

Electrical Wiring Most people don’t think much about the electrical wiring in their home, unless or until something goes wrong. For instance, the big football game is coming up on TV and people are gathered at your house to see it. A couple minutes before the game starts the TV inexplicably turns off. Nothing seems to work to get it back on. Maybe it was a blown fuse? Maybe it was something else? Whatever it was, it’s frustratingly irritating!

Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring

When is it time to upgrade your electrical wiring? For most people, if their house is over 40 years old, then it’s time. Things have changed a lot since the original electrical work was installed. Think about how much different our world is today– back then, they didn’t have the kind of devices and appliances we have now, like microwaves, desktop computers, and tablets. Furthermore, if you have several people living in a house trying to plug all their stuff in at once, you might have run out of outlets– so it’s time to expand the number of outlets in your home to properly accommodate the power needs of all the people who live there.

One thing that might scare you– and it should– is that faulty wiring is a leading cause of house fires. This isn’t just some made-up fact; researchers studied this topic and published their findings in a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association. The conclusion? The older your house is, the more likely the wiring is outdated and/or unsafe… which could very well lead to a fire. You don’t want that. You want wiring that’s “up to code,” or, more importantly, up to the current code.

When’s the last time your wiring was professionally inspected? Most of you would say, “I have no idea.” Others might say, “When we first bought the house.” If it has been “some time” since it was checked, make it a priority this year to have a company like Always On Electric come take a look at what’s going on in your house with your electrical wires.

You’ll especially want to have your wiring checked if you’ve noticed fuses are blowing repeatedly, lights are flickering or dimming, you smell burning coming from a certain room or appliance, or– don’t laugh– you get a tingling sensation when you touch a certain appliance.

Your wiring should also be inspected if you’ve noticed particularly warm outlets or ones that have become discolored or spark when you plug things into them.

Call 970-309-2616 to connect with Always On Electric.

Why is My Electrical Outlet Hot?

Warm OutletsHave you ever gone to unplug something out of an electrical outlet only to notice it feels warm to the touch? Why is that?

What a Warm Outlet Means for Your Home

A warm outlet tells you there’s probably a problem that needs to be addressed. It doesn’t necessarily mean a fire will start or your electrical system will fail right away, but it does indicate “something’s” wrong.

If you plug in laptop chargers, modems, computer printers and/or other small appliances, many of them use a transformer to convert AC to DC. This process can cause the plug to feel warm– so, after unplugging your item, if the plug gets cool again soon, then this is “normal.” If however, the outlet still feels warm after unplugging your charger, you should call an electrician to come take a look.

Outlets can become warm when too many devices are plugged into one outlet. An overloaded power strip could be causing your outlet to overheat because you’re putting too much demand on that one outlet. Warmth is coming from the increase of electricity right there. It’s best to remove a couple items from that outlet to help it cool down.

Sometimes outlets break. They can crack or chip, wearing down over time, and feeling warm to the touch; they may need to be replaced with new ones. Furthermore, electricity could be escaping via frayed wires or loose electrical terminations, causing the outlet to feel warm. An electrician can inspect your wiring and repair damaged ones.

Finally, you might have warm outlets because your overloading the circuit. Electricity travels on “highways” called circuits. It gets distributed in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the whole system. Nevertheless, some people tend to plug in energy-sucking devices into one particular circuit that cannot handle “all that.” That’s when outlets warm up. Oftentimes, an electrician will end up installing new outlets and/or adjusting the circuits to make it possible to get the kind of power you want to a particular room such that you’re no longer overwhelming a particular circuit.

Always on Electric can check your outlets in Colorado. Please call 970-309-2616 or email alwaysonelectric@hotmail.com with your concerns.

How to Prevent Electrical Fires

Electrical Fires House fires are always frightening, but electrical fires are particularly scary due to the possibility of the fire starting while people are sleeping. Kitchen fires are also quite common, but most kitchen fires start while someone is cooking. Electrical fires, on the other hand, may start at any time, including while everyone in the house is asleep. These tips will help you prevent electrical fires in your home.

Inspection

It is a good idea to schedule a professional inspection by a licensed electrician if you live in an older home or are experiencing electrical problems. Older homes may still contain wiring that is dangerously outdated. An older home may be due to have the wiring updated since electrical components do not last forever and older wiring may not support modern appliances.

Damage

Defective or damaged wiring and appliances are a frequent cause of home electrical fires. Always replace or repair any electrical cord or appliance that shows signs of damage.

Overloading

It can be tempting to plug multiple appliances or devices into a single outlet, particularly in older buildings that do not have enough electrical outlets, but this can be dangerous. Overloading an outlet or an extension cord can lead to overheating and an electrical fire.

Flammable Materials

Electric cords and appliances often generate heat. Always exercise extreme caution with placing flammable materials anywhere near electrical cords and devices. As these devices or cords heat up during usage, they may cause bedding, paper products, clothing, or any other flammable material to catch fire.

Shorts and Wiring Problems

Lights flickering or dimming, sparking when you plug a device into an outlet, a buzzing sound coming from electrical outlets, or breakers that frequently trip are all signs that the electrical system in the home needs to be inspected by a licensed electrician. None of these things should occur with a properly designed and maintained electrical system. Your first call should be to a qualified electrician if any of these things are happening in your home.

Always On Electric proudly serves home and businesses in the western Colorado region. Whether you need a routine inspection or are experiencing trouble with your electrical system, we are ready to help. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced electricians.

Tips for Selecting the Right Commercial Electrician

Commercial Electrician What are some tips for selecting the right commercial electrician to work on/at your workplace, business, warehouse or store?

First and foremost, you want to choose an electrician who is fully trained and knowledgeable about commercial electrical work. You want an expert, not a newbie or novice. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their license and make sure it’s current. Moreover, ask around– see what others have said about their work before you hire them. Also, make sure the electrician you choose to work with is bonded and insured.

Next, commercial electrical work requires practical and flexible workers who adapt well to different situations and people. For instance, an electrician in a commercial setting may have to interact with construction workers as well as office employees. How are their communication skills? Do they clam up and not say a word, speaking only when spoken to? Or do they seem to be able to talk with lots of different people about different topics in a friendly manner? Be a judge of character upon first interacting with them on the phone or in person: do they seem “on the ball?” Sometimes the answer to that exact question can tell you right then and there whether or not you want to hire them.

If you have the time and inclination, do an Internet search on nearby electricians to see their online reviews. Of course, you can check with the Better Business Bureau and ask for references, too, but these days it seems like most people form their opinions based on online reviews. That said, if an electrician/company gets “1 star” more often than “4 stars” (or more) then they’re best avoided.

Always On Electric has done a wide range of electrical jobs at places in Aspen, Grand Junction, Vail and other towns. With a constant commitment to customer service as a top priority, Always On Electric believes in putting customers first. Additionally, safety is another priority. Techs are trained on proper procedures for all electrical work they perform, abiding by industry standards. For more info, please call 970-309-2616 or email alwaysonelectric@hotmail.com.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Do Your Own Electrical Work

DIY Electrical Work Home maintenance projects can be expensive, and it is often tempting to attempt a repair on your own. After all, many times a DIY repair will not only save money, but may also be satisfying. Electrical work is one area of home repair where you may want to reconsider doing it yourself. These are a few reasons why you should not try to do electrical work on your own.

Fire Risk

The risk of fire from faulty wiring or improperly installed electrical components is very real. Electrical fires are also frequently devastating as they may start inside a wall at night and be fully involved before a homeowner notices. A small mistake, like a loose wire or an overloaded circuit, may lead to a dangerous electrical fire.

Electrical Shock

Electric shock is another serious risk of working with electricity. Professional electricians have years of experience and training, as well as specialized tools that help them stay safe while performing electrical work in your home. It only takes one small mistake or one second of inattention to receive a dangerous electric shock. The risk of electric shock makes DIY electrical repairs a bad idea.

Building Codes

All electrical work must be done in accordance with applicable building codes. Trying to fully understand the electrical codes takes considerable effort and time. Electrical work also may require an inspection. Performing electrical work by yourself may result in work that does not meet building code and is not inspected. This may become an issue when you attempt to sell the home.

Always On Electric has you covered whether you need residential or commercial electrical work performed. We work on all types of buildings throughout the western Colorado region. Our electricians are fully trained and experienced, and we are licensed, insured, and bonded. You can have full confidence in electrical work that we perform on your home or business. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our services or to request a quote.

What Causes Power Outages?

Power Outages As we become more dependent on a wide variety of electrical services and devices, power outages may seem more important than they were years ago. Today a power outage may interfere with lighting and entertainment, but also with safety and our ability to work. These are a few of the common causes of power outages.

  • Equipment

Our modern electrical system is composed of many different components. Electrical equipment is susceptible to failure as it ages or is damaged, just like the various parts in your car may fail over time. An equipment failure in the electrical system may result in a power outage to one home or to an entire area, depending on the equipment that failed.

  • Weather

As recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida have demonstrated, severe weather events may disrupt electric service to entire communities. A more typical example or weather-related power outages might involve lighting strikes, wind, or ice accumulation during winter.

  • Trees

Trees are often responsible for power outages. As the trees grow, their branches may come into contact with electrical lines or components. Trees may also indirectly trigger a power outage if a limb or the entire tree comes down during a storm. Falling limbs and trees may cause faults or damage to electrical lines.

  • Human Damage

Sometimes a power outage is caused by human damage. Common examples of human-caused outages are car crashes or construction equipment that cause damage to electrical components or lines.

  • Wildlife

Wildlife like snakes, rodents, and birds are just going about their daily life and doing what animals do each day. Unfortunately, they also sometimes come into contact with power lines or electrical components. The result is sometimes a power outage. While utility companies make efforts to limit the impact of wildlife on electrical service, these animals still sometimes find a way to a dangerous spot.

There are many causes of power outages. While you cannot control the electrical system outside of your home or business, you can be sure that all of the wiring and components within the building are safe and reliable. Always On Electric, Inc. has earned a reputation for quality work in the western Colorado region. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our services.

Warning Signs It’s Time to Re-wire Your Home

Re-Wiring Home Does it feel like you blow a fuse at least once or twice every week? There’s a chance that you could have too many appliances plugged into one circuit. There’s also a chance that your home’s electrical system might be outdated and that you could benefit from rewiring your entire home in the near future. Take a look at some of the other warning signs you’ll likely notice when it’s time to rewire your house.

Your home is more than 40 years old.

Electrical systems have advanced a lot over the course of the last few decades. So if you have a home that was built 40 years ago or more and you’re still using the original electrical system, it’s probably just about time to think about updating your system. By rewiring your home, you can make it a lot safer and avoid many of the potential problems that come along with using an older system.

Your home has aluminum wiring in it.

Speaking of outdated electrical systems, there was a time when many systems relied on aluminum wiring. That is, until electricians started to figure out that many aluminum wires ended up causing fires once they got old. Today’s electrical systems rely on copper wiring as opposed to aluminum and are noticeably safer. You should consider going with copper if you still have aluminum in your home.

Your home has certain outlets that have stopped working altogether.

Are you running extension cords all over your house to power up certain rooms? This might seem like a reasonable solution, but extension cords should not be used for this purpose. You should have an electrician come take a look at your nonfunctional outlets. They might be repairable, or they might be a sign of a larger problem within your home’s electrical system.

Is it time for you to update your home’s electrical system? Always on Electric can help you with it. Call us at 970-309-2616 today to set up an appointment with one of our reliable and experienced electricians.

Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting an Electrician

Electrician Choosing an electrician for a project at your home or business may be an intimidating process. How do you know if an electrician will do a good job, will treat you fairly, is honest and trustworthy, and has the skills and experience needed to safely complete the job? These tips are good things to keep in mind when selecting an electrician.

Personal Recommendation

Personal recommendations from family members, friends, or co-workers are often a great way to find a professional service provider. Recommendations of this sort are usually based on personal experience so they can be valuable. After all, if a contractor has a reputation of treating customers right then you can expect the same experience.

A similar option to personal recommendations is to check online review sites. This takes personal recommendations up a level by allowing you to see what others in the community have experienced when dealing with a business. Consistently positive reviews or recommendations of an electrician should provide a good indication of what your experience with be as well.

Professional Experience

Electrical work requires considerable training and experience. This is not the type of work where you want to hire someone who does not have considerable expertise.

Safe electrical work requires detailed knowledge of all applicable codes and best practices. Faulty electrical work may expose you, your loved ones, or your employees to hazards like electrical shocks or fire.

Licensing and Insurance

Always look for an electrician who is properly licensed and insured. If you hire a electrician who is not licensed and insured, it means you are forfeiting a great deal of protection.

Licensing requirements help to be sure that only qualified professionals are performing electrical work. Insurance further verifies that the electrician is a professional, but also helps to protect you in case something does go wrong while work is being performed on your property.

Always On Electric, Inc. provides quality electrical services to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers in the areas around Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, New Castle, and Vail. We have always been licensed, insured, and bonded so you can be sure that you are hiring a professional electrician for your project.

Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our services or to request a quote.

Lighting Your Home or Commercial Property

Realistically, not many home or business owners think about the lighting outside of their properties. Many people are most concerned about their interior lighting and don’t often consider the importance of exterior lights. The reality is, though, that having bright and well-maintained lighting outside of your property can add safety and improve its overall appearance.

Exterior Home LightingIn terms of safety, landscape lighting can help keep a residential property, like an apartment complex, safer. For instance, if the walkway from your parking area to the building doors has steps or isn’t a straight path, someone could stumble and fall if there isn’t enough light that would allow them to see where they’re going.

This is equally true for commercial properties, although with these buildings – since they are often unoccupied at night – some troublemakers may want to cause property damage or spray graffiti tags. If the exterior of your building is well lit, however, it serves as a deterrent. Without shadows to work in, any person trying to deface your building could be more easily seen by passersby who could notify the police.

Lighting can make a huge difference around the home as well. Say you’re having people over for the first time. Not only do you want them to find your house, but you want them to feel comfortable upon arriving, as well. Outside lighting can help in both of those regards, as well as make your home look nice to anyone driving by. You can also use exterior lighting to brighten up a porch or patio, giving you more space to mingle with friends, family or other guests outside after the sun goes down.

Lighting at a commercial property can also improve its appeal. Having bright, well-placed lighting on the outside of your property can draw potential clients’ and customers’ eyes to the business as they drive by at night. If the lighting looks good, you very well could improve your overall chances of creating new business for yourself just by having a well-kept and attractive exterior appearance.

If you’re interested in adding exterior and landscape lighting to your home or commercial property, Always On Electric can help with our full range of electrical wiring and installation services. For more information or to find out more about how we can light up the outside of your home or business, call us today at 970-309-2616!