All posts tagged safety

Why Surge Protectors Are Important for Keeping Your Home Safe

A power surge happens when there is a short-term spike in the electrical current running through an outlet. The purpose of surge protectors is to detect excess voltage and direct the additional electricity into the grounding wire. The traditional voltage for homes and offices is around 120 volts, so if the power surpasses this amount it is deemed a power surge. There are many reasons that an electrical surge can occur, besides lightning. One example is the turning on and off of appliances that use lots of energy, such as refrigerators, furnace, and air conditioning. Other culprits are faulty wiring, short circuits in your wiring system, and tripped circuit breakers.

When there is a sudden overabundance of electricity, it causes a flow of excessive heat which can burn the components and the wiring of whatever device is connected to the outlet. Not only could your appliances be permanently ruined, but it can cause fires to spark too. Power surges have been liable for the destruction of homes and appliances, as well as some structural fires. To keep your family and property free from danger and protected from surges, you need to invest in surge protectors. They are even more necessary in today’s world of technology, because current devices are more sensitive to surges than in previous generations. All of your expensive microprocessors, like your television, computer, and media centers, should be plugged into surge protectors. Without them, you are opening up your home to the potential for costly damage.

Surges in power are a serious and potentially costly problem. For the safety of your family, your home needs a surge protector. However, it is important to not buy one that is poor in quality, as they can be equivalent to having no protection at all. When you are searching make sure that you are looking for surge protectors and not just power strips. Power strips merely offer additional outlet space but do nothing in the way of keeping you safe. You should also ensure that the product is labelled with a UL seal. Underwriters’ Laboratories test the capabilities of each surge protection device to see if it meets the minimal quality and safety standards. UL designates all of the passing protectors as “transient voltage surge suppressor” on the label, so specifically check for this. To keep your belongings and loved ones safe, you need to have surge protectors in your home.

If you are looking for an electrical contractor in the Tri-State area, you need someone you can trust. At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are a family owned business built on hard work and honesty. We care about resolving the electrical issues of our customers, as we put your safety and happiness above everything else. We take the time to find and fix the true source of the problem, unlike other electricians that may just quickly patch up a symptom of the issue. We are located in Walton, KY to proudly serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. If you need a local electrician, call us today.

 

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What Should You Do If Your Outlets Spark?

An outlet that sparks when something is plugged into it can seem alarming but in some cases it is completely normal. If the spark is blue in color, appears for just a brief second, and is infrequent, this is nothing to worry about. However, if the spark appears longer than a passing moment, is a yellow hue, occurs with every usage of the outlet, and is accompanied by the smell of burning or smoke, these are all indications that there is a problem that needs to be addressed right away.

A sparking outlet can occur for a number of reasons. In American homes, there is a constant running of electricity from the circuit to the main power grid. So when something is plugged in, the hot electricity immediately transfers from the outlet to the device. The rapid draw of power can result in a brief spark, which is essentially static electricity and is completely normal. However, these next examples are very serious and require professional assistance to correct the issue.

A short circuit can happen when excessive heat accumulates in the outlet and melts the insulation of wires. The electricity that then runs through the exposed wiring can cause sparks to appear. If an outlet has been exposed to water or deteriorated with age, these instances can both lead to sparking. Electrical outlets over time can have connections become loose, which increases the chances of a short circuit. Another issue is faulty repairs. If someone tried to repair your electrical system but lacked the proper skills, serious problems can occur as a result. Electrical problems are not something someone should attempt to repair themselves; it is best left to the professionals.

If you notice sparking outlets in your home, contact an electrician as soon as possible. Your belongings, home, and most importantly family can be in serious danger. Electrical fires can easily occur when there is sparking. There are over 51,000 electrical fires each year, which results in over 1.3 billion dollars in property damage. The fires are also responsible for 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries every year. The wellbeing of your household could be in jeopardy if your residence has outlets that spark. A certified electrician will inspect your outlets to evaluate if the issue is a safety concern. Do not hesitate to call a professional, as this problem will not go away.

If you have sparking outlets in your home, you can trust Rose Brothers & Sons Electric to handle the problem for you. We are a local and family owned business that prioritizes the safety and happiness of our customers. Honesty and hard work are the foundation of our service. Our focus on customer satisfaction is why we have such fantastic reviews on Angie’s List and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. We are not in the business of offering temporary fixes, but rather long-term solutions that address the root of the problem. We are located in Walton, KY to serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today for help with all your electrical issues.

 

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What Is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Knob and tube wiring is an early regulated form of electrical wiring used in buildings. It was common practice to use this method in North America from roughly 1880 to the 1930s. Single-insulated copper conductors were run inside walls and ceiling cavities by means of stud and joist dill-holes that relied on porcelain insulating tubes for protection. Support placed along the length of the wiring was provided by porcelain knob insulators that were nailed-down.  Due to the high installation costs, different interior wiring systems were eventually utilized. Today, knob and tube wiring is only permitted to be installed in highly specific circumstances outlined by the National Electrical Code, including particular agriculture and industrial atmospheres.

The cylindrical knobs utilized were usually nailed straight into the floor joists or wall studs. To keep them from breaking during the installation process, most had a leather washer to act as a cushion. The electrical wires would wrap around the knob and secured in place with tire wires, which allowed the knob to be a permanent anchor for the wire. The purpose of the ceramic tubes in the holes of the wall studs and floor joists was to ensure the wires never made contact with the wood framing and so the wires would not be compressed by the wood when the structure settled. A flexible woven insulating sleeve referred to as a loom, was used as an additional agent of protection. It would cover insulated wire where a wire crossed over or under a separate wire, and when a wire would enter an enclosed metal device. The original insulation slip was crafted out of cotton cloth saturated in asphalt. Ultimately, rubber became the popular choice of loom. These distinct characteristics make it is easy to identify this style of wiring.

Numerous historic homes in America rely on knob and tube wiring. However, this outdated type of wiring is dangerous and poses a serious threat to the home and occupants.  While the wiring is functional, it is not equipped to handle the required electricity that is necessary for modern devices. As a result, the knob and tube wiring experiences regular overload which can lead to a fire.  Another concern is that loom can deteriorate as it ages, and expose the wires. The inadequate durability causes the breakdown, sagging, and stretching of components, which causes them to make accidental contact with nearby materials. This can produce serious electrical and fire hazards. Another safety issue is that the wiring is not suited for moisture rich environments, such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and outdoor areas. Knob and tube wiring does not utilize grounding, so it only provides a neutral and hot wire. This creates a situation where fluctuations and surges in voltages have nowhere to travel which leaves the belongings, the home, and the inhabitants exposed to the dangers of shock and fire.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we are available for residential, commercial, and industrial electrical projects. We work on new builds, historical homes, and remodeling projects to install circuits, transformers, and primary service. We pride ourselves on doing work that is done correctly, and is a permanent solution to the electrical problem. Unlike other electricians, we are not in the business of fast repairs that are merely a temporary fix. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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What Are Dedicated Circuits, and Do You Need Them?

Dedicated circuits are reserved for a certain purpose, and have a circuit breaker of their very own in the electrical box. It is intended to be used by only one appliance at a time. The circuits are dedicated to that appliance because no other appliances will be plugged into it or draw energy from the circuit. Relying on dedicated circuits can certify that major appliances that attract a high amount of electrical current, have access to the energy that they require to function. This also eliminates any worries of overloading the system, tripping a circuit breaker, or blowing a fuse. When an appliance draws an excessive amount of current than the circuit can manage, it can lead to the wire insulation overheating. Overheating causes the wire to degrade, so each time it occurs the problem worsens. This situation can then progress to a complete breakdown which has the possibility of resulting in an electrical fire. The longevity of the appliance is also affected if it does not have access to sufficient amperage for operating. Dedicated circuits are able to protect your appliances, your home, and your family.

It is required by the National Electrical Code that all fixed appliances run on separate dedicated circuits that are not communal with any other appliance. This is a preventative measure to keep machines that feed on large amounts of energy from overloading the circuit, as each one can only handle a certain limit of electrical draw. To evenly distribute the power consumption in your home, there are many appliances required to use dedicated circuits. Air conditioning, heating, and ventilation equipment should have their own circuit. All of the traditional kitchen necessities such as refrigerators, freezers, ovens, stoves, and dishwashers are included in this requirement as well. Washers and dryers are also large energy sinks so they need dedicated circuits too. Smaller appliances can also use a lot of power so if you frequently have multiple devices operating on the same circuit, it would be a smart idea to upgrade to dedicated circuits. These small appliances include toasters, microwaves, hair dryers, vacuums, water heaters, and power tools. Not every plug-in device requires it, but a good rule of thumb is that if it has a motor it customarily needs to have its own circuit. Lights that dim for no reason and having to routinely reset tripped circuit breakers are two signs that your home would benefit from adding a couple more dedicated circuits. If these problems occur with dedicated circuits, this can indicate a wiring issue that will need to be inspected and corrected by a professional.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we can help with a wide assortment of electrical issues ranging from residential repairs to commercial and industrial installations. We understand the safety concerns that electrical complications pose, which is why we work to solve and repair the underlying issue correctly the first time.  While other electricians can offer a quick-fix, we provide a permanent solution. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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What Is the Difference Between Two- and Three-Prong Outlets?

Three-prong electric outlets feature three holes, where the left slot is a tad larger than the right. The right opening is known as “hot” and the left is referred to as “neutral”, while the hole at the bottom is called “ground”. The neutral and ground slots are exactly the same. If you were to look at the breaker box, you would find that the ground and neutral wires from every single outlet both go to the same place. Electricity flows from the hot to neutral slot. When an appliance is plugged into the outlet, the circuit from the hot to neutral hole is complete and power is able to flow through the appliance. The purpose for the ground slot is to protect people who are plugging in an appliance encased in metal, from sustaining an electric shock. The ground prong is connected straight to the casing.  Even with devices such as computers that have a plastic case with a metal-encased power supply inside of it, they also utilize the ground slot to keep users from harm. Another safety concern is burns. A dangerous situation can arise if a wire were to become loose from within an ungrounded metal case. If the wire is hot, it can heat the metal and potentially fatally shock or burn anyone who touches it. However when the case is grounded, this problem will not occur. Electricity runs from the hot wire directly to the ground, and will trip the breaker so the power is not being misdirected.

The biggest difference between two- and three-prong electric outlets is that the two-prong does not have the grounding feature. The omission of a ground slot means that two-prong outlets have a higher chance to give an electric shock. Beyond the lack of a safety component, there are really no large dissimilarities between the two types of outlets. An appliance that utilizes a three-prong outlet will be able to operate when plugged into one with two-prongs. This is possible when someone uses a cheater plug or cuts off the ground prong to make it fit. This is a highly dangerous practice though and is ill-advised as this bypasses a critical safety element. Now the user has created the opportunity to be shocked or burned by disabling the effect of the ground slot.

If you are interested in increasing the protective capabilities of your electric outlets, you can have them upgraded. Switching from two-prong to three-prong outlets will eliminate any worries of members of your household being harmed. Contact a professional electrician as they will be able to execute this task for you.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we perform a wide array of electrical services from residential to industrial and commercial. We take the time to fix the cause of any issue so it is permanently resolved. We value our customers and listen to their needs, which is why we have a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and outstanding reviews on Angie’s List. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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Keeping Your Outdoor Outlets Safe

Outdoor outlets are exposed to many situations that can be damaging. If an outlet is not in working condition, this can lead to potentially dangerous repercussions for your household. Here are some tips to keep your outdoor outlets free from harm.

It is important to only use outdoor-rated electrical elements. Anything you plan to use outside must be specially designed and built to withstand the weather. Even if the outdoor lighting fixture is under a roof and will not be exposed to any rain, it still must be able to endure dampness, and extreme temperatures. Higher ratings are available for components that are not shielded from precipitation; it will state that they are weather resistant, weatherproof, or suitable for wet settings. You must use outdoor-rated light bulbs, fixtures, extension cords, and decorative lights. Indoor extension cords cannot meet the capacity required by many power tools, lawn tools, and outdoor lighting.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI, outlets are a critical electrical safety improvement in the last few decades. They should be used anywhere you plug in electronics while grounded, including outside. Weather-resistant GFCI will ensure that your family is not shocked in outdoor environments with moisture present. If the previous owners of your home did not switch the outdoor outlets to GFCI, it is imperative for safety to update them as quickly as possible. These receptacles feature components resistant to corrosion, meaning not only are they safer but they will last longer than indoor options available.

You can install covers to be placed over your outlets so they are not affected by the climate. For receptacles that on porches or in an area with a roof, a cover that is labeled as “Suitable For Damp Locations”, is the right choice. However, for outdoor outlets that do not have protective shelter, they require an in-use cover instead. This style allows both the receptacle and whatever is plugged in it to remain dry, even during rain.

Ensure that wires and extension cords are in proper working order before use. You should inspect them for nicks, cuts, tangles, or any signs of injury. You need to be careful when placing wires along walkways and trees, as this can make them more susceptible to destruction. Avoid the use of these components in locations where the wires can be impaired. Any damage sustained can cause potential problems to arise.

When plugging in something, you should pay attention to the capacity needed. If not, you could overload the extension cord or outlet which may lead to a fire. Consider installing an extra outlet or purchasing a higher-capacity cord for your gadgets.

For all your electrical needs, rely on Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. We are available for residential, commercial, and industrial projects. We even offer 24 hour emergency service, so you can count on us to be there for you around-the-clock. Our superb rating by the Better Business Bureau is due to our dedication to providing outstanding customer service for clients. We are located in Walton, KY, and serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Contact us today.

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How to Stay Safe While Using Your Generator

Before operating a generator there are many things you should know. These machines do not mess around; they are powerful and can cause serious damage. Here are some generator safety tips to follow to keep you and others free from danger.

Generators should never run indoors or in enclosed spaces. Injuries and deaths related to generators are mostly due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by generators being used in areas that are not well ventilated. Opening doors and windows is not sufficient enough to prevent the buildup of the potentially fatal poison. These machines should always run outside, and be placed at a minimum of fifteen feet away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to enter your home.  If you find yourself feeling sick, weak, or dizzy, when operating a generator, seek fresh air at once. Since it cannot be seen or smelled, having a carbon monoxide detector can give you peace of mind that the harmful toxin is not in your home.

You should never refuel the generator while it is running. You should turn the machine off, and give it ample time to cool off before adding more fuel. A fire can occur as the result of spilling fuel on the hot surface. Letting the engine cool before refueling also reduces the chances of being burned during the process.

Generators should never operate in wet conditions. This includes when it is raining. However, with proper covering and venting, it can be safe for use during precipitation. The manufacturer will have recommendations for how to properly operate the generator under tents specifically designed for your model. If you are standing in water or have wet hands, you should not work with your generator as well.

Another generator safety tip is to not attempt to backfeed your home. This happens when the generator is plugged directly into a wall outlet. This is an extremely dangerous thing to do, and creates the threat of electrocution for utility workers and neighbors relying on the same utility transformer. There is also an increased risk of excess current and electrical fire for your appliances and electronics. Instead you should install a transfer switch before running a generator. This allows the machine to connect to your circuit panel and power hardwired appliances without the safety risk of using extension cords.

In preparation for using the generator, you may want to keep extra fuel at your home. It is important for fuel to be properly stored and only use approved containers. Keep the fuel away from living areas, and combustion appliances. Your local fire department can provide suggestions on appropriate storage locations if you are unsure.

Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can help with all your electrical needs ranging from residential to commercial to industrial. We take pride in providing excellent customer service which is reflected in our numerous positive reviews on Angie’s List. We offer emergency service at all hours of the day, so you can count on us to always be there for you. We are located in Walton, KY, and serve Northern KY and Cincinnati. Call us today.

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Making Sure Your Outlets Are Child-Proof

Electrical outlets are an essential component of your home, but they are also dangerous. Almost every room has several electrical outlets, so it is imperative to keep these elements from being hazardous to your children. There are a multitude of child-proof options for your outlets.

If your home was built after 2015, you should already have tamper-proof outlets. The national electric code requires the use of these as they prevent the insertion of small items. Even with a newly constructed house, you should double-check to ensure all the outlets are tamper resistant. When looking at the electrical outlets, you will be able to tell which kind you have. The old type has slots that are very open, making them unsafe. If you have an older home, it is almost assuredly a regular electrical outlet. The newer tamper-proof outlets have plastic behind the slot openings. The plastic is spring-loaded shutters, which require both prong slots to be pushed in at the same time for the plastic to move. There is also a third style of outlet known as decora outlets, which are not child-proof. They do not need screws to attach the cover, instead the cover just snaps on. It is crucial to know which outlets your home uses, as baby-proof solutions are not viable options for every type.

If you have unused electric outlets, there are a few ways to make them safe for your family. For a simple and cheap option, you can use plastic outlet caps also called safe plates. They fit into the slots just like a plug would. The outside of the cap uses plastic that has no grips, so a baby will not be able to remove them. This option however is inconvenient as every time you use the outlet, you will have to take the cap out and then plug it back in afterwards. Another route is sliding plate covers. They cost more but are safer. To install, you simply have to replace your current outlet covers with the spring-load sliding ones. If you push the plate cover over, it will automatically slide back in place. You also never have to worry about forgetting to put a cap back on.

For outlets in use, you can use a Lectralock, which will completely cover the plugged in cords. This shield will not allow a toddler to open it. They are also compatible for both regular and decorative outlets. Power strips will also need to be baby-proofed. An easy solution is a cover like the Safety 1st model. These conceal all the outlets and plugs. There is an opening for the cords but it is impossible for kids to pull out the plugs or stick small things into the power strip.

At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, we can take care of any electrical issues you have. Unlike other electricians, we don’t use a quick fix approach to solve problems. We find and correct the source of the complication, so you never have to worry about it again. We are located in Walton, KY and provide service to Cincinnati and Northern KY.

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Get an Electrical Safety Inspection in the New Year

electrical safety inspection

It may be the holiday season, but it is always the season to practice safety and to be prepared for unforeseen events. With all of the shopping and decorating, it would not be hard to miss out on something that could cause potential harm to your family in the far or near future. Busy schedules can definitely get in the way of inspecting your home, which is why you should always let the professionals do the work for you. Our electricians at Rose Brothers & Sons Inc. Electric and Construction would love to be the ones to get your home ready for the holidays with an electrical safety inspection! They are highly trained and certified in residential, commercial, and industrial electric, and our company has been serving Northern KY, and Cincinnati for over four decades. We can handle anything from smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector installation to circuit breaker replacement or underground cabling. With the new year right around the corner, think about making your New Year’s resolution to be keeping you and your family safe year-round by getting an electrical safety inspection.

Everyone knows that when you are in the process of buying or selling a home, at some point, you will have to get a professional electrician to conduct an inspection. Did you know that you should also inspect your home throughout the years for safety purposes? One of the main reasons for house fires is faulty wiring. We do not expect you to be able to solve this problem on your own, but there are some clues to help you figure out if you should get an electrical safety inspection. Have you ever plugged in an iron, toaster, or vacuum cleaner and notice that the lights in the rest of the room flickered or got dim? If so, that could be a big sign that your home has some faulty wiring. It would be smart to get an electrical inspection before something accidentally catches on fire, which could happen easily during the month of December.

Decorating for Christmas is always exciting, but with a large display of lights outside and a light-covered tree comes an over loaded electrical outlet. Power strips can help reduce your risk, but you will never be 100% safe using every port without inspecting your home. A lot of furnaces produce carbon monoxide, so it is crucial to get an inspection due to the extensive use of heat during the winter and holiday season. This could be dangerous because carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, making it impossible for you to know if you are breathing it in until it is too late. You and your family’s health, safety, and well-being are nothing to take chances on. Give Rose Brothers & Sons Electric and Construction a call today! We are ready to put your family out of harm’s way.

With over 41 years of experience, you can be confident that our friendly experts at Rose Brothers & Sons Electric will give your home a thorough inspection. We are located in Walton, KY and would be glad to assist you in making your home safer for the holiday season. Give us a call today!

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Avoiding Common Wiring Mistakes in Northern Kentucky

common wiring mistakesCommon wiring mistakes can create a problem for homeowners who aren’t aware of the problem. Often do-it-yourself projects can create an electrical wiring nightmare that isn’t discovered until someone gets hurt or the house burns down. Many times unsuspecting homeowners have to confess to electrical project mistakes during a home inspection where they realize some of the jobs they undertook were better left to professional electricians in Northern Kentucky.  Understanding building codes and how to wire your home is what makes a professional electrician stand out.

Common Wiring Mistakes

Many times we find areas of the home where the wiring is put in backwards. Neutral wires in an outlet are connected to the wrong wires. Often this won’t cause any problem with the appliances you plug in but can potentially cause a life threatening shock if left undetected.

Another problem we often see is either not using wire nuts or connectors, or not putting the connections into a junction box. This can cause problems if there is a short. A wire nut or electrical box will protect your wiring and the surrounding area if there is an electrical short or arch.

Many times novice electricians will cut corners when it comes to all the specific wires and connectors that need to be properly placed to avoid fire or injury. Your professional electrician in Northern Kentucky knows what the rules are for safety and to pass building codes in the area. Using too small a junction box or putting too many wires inside the box is a good example of problems that can occur when you aren’t sure what you’re doing or you’re trying to fix your electrical wires without the right equipment.

If you don’t know much about electricity and don’t understand the correct way to run ground wires to your home, it is best to hire a residential electrical contractor to help with all your electrical needs. This will make sure you avoid common wiring mistakes that could end up costing you a ransom in costly repairs.

Call The Experts!

Electrical wiring is one area of your home where avoiding common wiring mistakes is crucial. Let the expert team at Rose Brothers & Sons Electric handle all your electrical upgrades, repairs and wiring projects in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati Ohio. Keep you, your family and your home safe. Contact us today!

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