Ultimate Guide to Home Electrical Safety

Make sure you stay safe at home with these simple electrical safety tips!

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For well over a century, we have enjoyed the modern convenience of electricity to live comfortably. It lights our homes, provides warmth, and powers our ever-growing assortment of electronics. It’s so common that it’s easy to forget its inherent dangers. Over time we’ve added safety features to appliances and outlets and adopted electrical wiring standards that keep us safe.

These measures make our home’s safer. For example, when ground fault circuit interrupters (GCFI outlets) became the standard for outlets placed near water sources like in the bathroom or kitchen, the number of accidental electrocutions dropped by 83%. That’s a shocking change considering that our dependence on electricity has grown during that same time.

Enhanced safety measures and familiarity provide a false sense of security, and many DIY-savvy homeowners take on more than they can handle with home electrical projects.

The Real Deal on Electrical Safety in Your Home

There was a time before the 1970s when electrocutions and house fires were a lot more common. And while we’ve made a lot of progress at improving the safety of electrical use in our homes, there is still a risk. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that faulty electrical wiring is still responsible for approximately 10% of all house fires. And we still see more than 400 deaths every year attributed to electrocution injuries.

The electricity in your home is a live current, and it is capable of producing significant injury and starting fires in the same way that a bolt of lightning can. Even simple tasks like replacing a bad switch or installing a ceiling fan come with some risk.

Here’s why you’re better off hiring an electrician:

●   Wiring trouble can increase your risk of a house fire, putting the safety of your family at risk.

●   Electrical work can be dangerous.

●   Your DIY electrical project can cause your home to fail an inspection when it comes time to sell.

●   Electricians have training and experience to navigate safety and compliance to get the job done right.

●   You don’t have to worry about building code violations.

●   Electrical work is time-intensive and takes you away from enjoying your personal time.

When it comes to home remodeling projects or fixing a pesky problem, hiring an electrician might feel like an expensive burden. But it’s one of those things that is often a controllable upfront cost to save a lot more money down the road.

Electrical Safety Tips

Electrical safety in the home goes beyond building codes and qualified workmanship. It starts with practical, everyday actions that can protect your home and your family. Here are a few tips to take note of.

Use the Right Light Bulbs

A quick trip down the lighting aisle at your local hardware store can be overwhelming. There’s an assortment of bulbs in different sizes, shapes, and wattages. While some fixtures require special bulbs, most US fixtures take a standard medium bulb or E26. That code identifies the screw type and size, with “E” indicating an Edison bulb and “26” indicating a 26mm width socket.

The problem is that the E26 bulb comes in different wattages, which indicate how bright the bulb is. A 40-watt or 60-watt bulb is common, but they go all the way up to 100 watts. Light fixtures, on the other hand, are designed for a specific wattage. Overlamping, or using a 75-watt bulb in a 40-watt-rated fixture causes excess heat build-up and quickly becomes a fire hazard.

Pay Attention to Cords

Frayed cords and tangled messes shoved behind a piece of furniture are both common electrical hazards in the home. Worn or damaged cords on appliances can lead to exposed wiring that is not properly insulated, increasing the risk of shock when someone uses that appliance. Homeowners should keep their cords tidy so that wear and tear is easy to recognize and promptly replace cords that become dangerous.

Use What You Need, Unplug What You Don’t

You probably don’t realize this, but appliances constantly draw energy when they are plugged into an outlet. Even when a device is powered off, it’s using energy as long as it’s connected to the wall. The US Department of Energy says that gaming systems, phone chargers, and other common electronics are energy vampires that cause millions of Americans to pay higher electric bills.

So, unplugging what you don’t need makes sense from a cost-savings perspective. But it’s also a safety measure. If you’re not regularly using the appliance, you won’t notice when something goes wrong. Leaving them plugged in increases the risk of overheating or damage from a power surge that can pose a bigger threat to your safety.

Remember, Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

The use of GCFI outlets has improved the safety of electrical wiring in areas that also are prone to water exposure, but safety features don’t replace common sense. Allowing moisture to build up anywhere there is an outlet, fixture, or appliance that is connected to your electrical system can spell big trouble. Avoid electrocution injuries by being vigilant about electrical safety in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, garage, and outdoor areas.

Get an Electrical Inspection

It’s always a good idea to be proactive. Most electricians offer routine electrical inspections as a common-sense approach to keeping up on your home maintenance. These inspections can identify problems so that you can address them before they become a serious, life-threatening situation.

In newer homes built after the 1970s, a routine inspection every 10 years or when electrical problems appear will keep things in good shape. If you live in an older home, especially if the wiring hasn’t been updated, you’ll want to keep a closer eye on things. For these homes, aim for a routine inspection of three to five years or when electrical problems appear.

Get a professional electrician on-site immediately if you notice signs of a problem like:

●   Flickering Lights

●   Strange Smells

●   Warm Switchplate Covers or Fixtures

●   Frequent Tripped Beakers

●   Buzzing, Humming, Cracking, or Popping Sounds

●   Any Amount of Spark

What to Remember About Home Electrical Safety

Electricity can always be dangerous. Even though it has become a common part of our lives and both homes and appliances are outfitted with dozens of safety features, the risk of injury or death is still very real. Take the time to address common electrical hazards in your home and talk with your family about the hidden dangers of unmonitored appliances and carelessness when using electricity in the kitchen or bathroom. Invest in the best safety equipment and consider using gloves while working like those from https://unigloves.co.uk/ to avoid injury. The best thing you can do to promote electrical safety is to pay attention. If you notice a sign of trouble, remember that it’s always a good idea to leave electrical work to licensed professionals.

Author Bio

Bobby Lynn, the owner of Livewire Electrical, is a fully licensed electrician in Charlotte, NC. Bobby is insured for both residential and commercial electrical projects and has over 20 years of experience in the industry.

4 DIY Tips For Home Sellers in 2022

Thinking of selling your home next year? Here are some tips to sell your home fast!

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With the new year, comes new resolutions for homeowners. If you’re thinking of taking advantage of the advantageous seller’s market by putting your home up for sale, you’ll be glad to know the current housing conditions almost guarantee a favorable closing price — so long as you have a top-notch real estate agent on your side.

Though home prices are extremely high right now, there’s still plenty of tasks you can tackle yourself in order to truly impress your buyers. As any real estate agent will attest, staging a home is key in order to sell quickly and profitably. Here are some helpful tips to get started.

Declutter, deep clean and depersonalize 

When a buyer views your home, they’ll want to picture themselves living in the property. That’s why top real estate agents always recommend decluttering, deep cleaning, and depersonalizing your home prior to the sale.  Limit the number of family photos and mementos, remove the layers of dust and grime from the shelves and windows, and organize the storage spaces in your home.  If it is a big cleanout, you could hire a residential dumpster to make the job easier.

If you’re looking for some housekeeping tips, remember to stay organized and motivated. Come up with a cleaning and decluttering method that works for you. Some people like setting timers for 15 minutes every day to work, while some create a goal to donate or throw away a certain number of items everyday. No matter your method, this is an easy way to impress buyers that won’t cost you a dime!

Stage your home

Staging your home is perhaps the most important step before allowing potential buyers to view your home. In order to pull this off, maximize your space, plant flowers outside, and paint the walls neutral colors.

Decorating your home is another important step. As noted, personal mementoes, family photos, and sentimental keepsakes, while extremely important to you, will actually hurt your selling prospects. Buyers want to picture themselves in your property, so try limiting the personal tokens within your decorating in favor of neutral items like plants and landscape photos. You don’t have to remove all the family photos and having no decor at all will decrease the hominess of the property — just make sure anyone entering your home for a tour will be able to picture themselves living there.

Take your home virtual

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now more important to ever to make sure your home stands out both physically and virtually. Videos and photos are going to be more important than ever, so you’ll want to make sure you create a top-notch online marketing presence for your property.

While your real estate agent can help with this process, it’s easy to create great home videos and photos with just your Smartphone. Lighting is important, so choose a time of day with plenty of natural light and turn on all overhead lighting. Remember, you’ll want your angles to showcase your home’s spaciousness, so avoid taking close-up photos. If you don’t know where to start, always remember to ask your real estate agent for guidance.

Modern Bioethanol Fireplace for your Home

Bioethanol-fireplace is a great alternative to the traditional fireplace and wood burning stoves while being low-maintenance and easy to clean at the same time!

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Bio ethanol fires require no complicated installation, electricity, power, or the like, and can easily be placed wherever you want it. Are you looking for design trends to modernize your house? What’s better than to let the light into your home through large windows, while having a modern bioethanol fireplace as a centerpiece in your living room? 

An eco-friendly fireplace

A bioethanol fire is an easy and great way to modernize your home, but it’s also an eco-friendly solution. So, while you’re optimizing your home, you’re thinking about the environment as well. Ethanol fireplaces are very smart and easy to handle. A bio ethanol fireplace burns on bioethanol fuel, which is produced mainly from organic materials such as potatoes, corn, and sugar cane. This means that during burning only CO2, heat, and evaporated water are emitted. As opposed to the classic wood burning stoves, a bioethanol fire does not require a chimney or a flue. The cleaning of a bioethanol fire is therefore minimal, and the maintenance is very easy to handle. A biofuel fireplace can be installed and placed almost anywhere you want, and you can enjoy the flames from the bio fuel fire almost right away! Also, if you have an old wood burning stove, but you want an eco-friendlier alternative, it’s also possible to easily convert your old wood burning stove into a bio ethanol fireplace. There are specific so-called bioethanol burner grates for this purpose – just place the bio ethanol burner into the existing stove, and you can enjoy the cosiness of your eco-friendly ethanol fireplace.

Install a bio ethanol fireplace to make your home feel more cosy

If you’re thinking about making renovating your home, or you want to make a few changes in your home to make it feel cosier and homier and are looking for modern homes inspiration, it might be a good idea to install a bioethanol fire in your home. Perhaps you have a small DIY project in mind and only need a small bioethanol fire, or perhaps you’re thinking about a bigger renovation project for your home? It doesn’t have to take much to install a bioethanol fire in your home. Bio ethanol fires come in many different sizes, shapes, designs, and colours – and also models. Maybe a wall mounted fireplace or ceiling mounted bioethanol fireplace would be fitting for your project? Or perhaps a freestanding bio ethanol fireplace is the better solution? A freestanding bio ethanol fireplace doesn’t require any installation – it just needs to be placed wherever you want it, and you’re good to go. As bio ethanol fires don’t need electricity or power, you can place a freestanding bio ethanol fireplace anywhere, and the decorative fire will create a cosy atmosphere in any space! Whatever bioethanol fireplace model you opt for, you’re guaranteed a cosy atmosphere, warmth, and a beautiful-looking fireplace in your home.

3 Design Trends to Modernize Your House

Make your house look trendy this season with some of our favorite interior design trends!

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Upgrading your home to meet the latest trends can be equated to going shopping for clothing to keep up with the ever-changing fashion trends of the season. Luckily, interior décor trends do not change as often as fashion does, and neither do structural ones, else it would be too costly to keep up. As technology advances, upgrading your home to the current standards of modernization is a welcome idea.

That said, I’m sure you’d like to achieve this with minimal physical damage to the existing structure and without having to rob a bank. Here are our top 3 design trends from which you can borrow inspiration.

1. Let the Light In

Modernize your home by bringing in additional light and giving your space a new lease of life. You’d be surprised how much airy your house will feel with more illumination. Poorly lit spaces tend to feel cramped up and can negatively affect your emotional state. On the contrary, well-lit areas are inviting and keep your creative juices flowing. With more opportunities to work remotely, you want to recreate your home to enhance your productivity and not drain the energy out of you.

There are several ways you can brighten up your home, depending on your budget and how extra you want to get. For starters, you can recreate a wall on one side of the house that would offer a lovely view and interchange brick with glass. The effect of the ceiling to floor windows is not only contemporary, but it brings life into your space without an additional monthly utility bill. Check out some modern house plans to get inspired.

Another alternative is to add lighting or upgrade your entire lighting system. This could be anything from hanging downlighters to strategically placed lamps, either table or floor, to replacing the traditional, outdated ceiling lights with contemporary masterpieces.

2. Landscape Your Lawn

Landscaping your lawn may not give you an instant wholesome result, especially when it comes to planting trees, flowers, and other beneficial shrubs as they take time to grow. However, it will greatly enhance your curb appeal. Often, we do not pay too much attention to the yard until you drive past a beautifully manicured, well-thought-out landscaped yard in the neighborhood and realize what a significant difference it makes.

There are many benefits to landscaping, more so if you carry out most of the work yourself since you’ll be building your hand strength, reducing stress, and exercising your entire body, thus, improving your overall health. Additionally, with an aesthetically appealing outdoor area, your quality of life will improve. Plants are beneficial to the water and air around and provide a cooler environment while preventing soil erosion. These are just some of the benefits.

You can engage a variety of landscaping techniques like layering the heights of trees and plants, blending in flowers that complement each other, and using cobblestones, gravel or bricks to demarcate the driveway. Visit a garden center near you, and they will advise which plants go well together.

3. Create an Alfresco Area

There’s nothing as beautifully relaxing in the presence of nature with a chilled glass of your favorite beverage on a warm, lazy Sunday afternoon with a couple of friends. It’ll be beneficial to have a space created that brings you peace and calm, a great hideaway when you want time away from the kids or your home office or when you want to read a book and relax.

You can create an outdoor room that’s either permanent or temporary, depending on how much you are willing to spend and what resources you have readily available. If there aren’t any financial limitations, you can install a pergola and furnish it tastefully.

Final Thoughts

Modernizing your home is not as complicated and financially engaging as you may imagine. Once you embark on the finer details, decide what changes you would like to make, and get the necessary quotations, you’ll probably wonder why you had to wait so long. People are spending more time at home, and keeping your sanity is critical. Having a home you are comfortable with and look at with pride will put you in the right mind space to achieve all.

Easy Garden Improvements you Can Make this Summer

Make your garden stand out all summer long with these easy garden improvements!

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For many of us, the garden is as far as we’ll be going on holiday this summer. While this may be frustrating and hard to accept, the situation with Covid-19 is still very fluid and with the rules seemingly changing every month regarding the ability to travel to different countries, having a staycation and channelling energy into some home improvements is a great alternative. With this in mind, we’ve put together a selection of easy improvements you can make to your garden to make it a more enjoyable space this summer.

Build some raised flower beds

Having the ability to add some stunning spring and summer flowers can really enhance your garden and make it a more enjoyable and interesting place to spend time this summer. Depending on the space you have available, building some raised flower beds or adding some large pots can be a great feature that allows you to increase the number of flowers you have in your garden. You can also get creative with the design of your flower beds or pots and match them to your overall garden theme.

Upscale your garden furniture 

As many of you will know, finding any new garden furniture over the last few years, particularly in peak demand times such as the summer months, has proven to be particularly challenging. With this in mind, many of us are having to look into upscaling our existing garden furniture in our backyard or buying from places like Facebook Marketplace and doing the work to make it look how we want.

There are many different ways this can be done, depending on the materials used to create the garden furniture. Your wood table or stools could always benefit from a fresh coat of paint or varnish, while chairs can be given new cushions and cover to make them more comfortable to sit on. Metal garden furniture can also be upscaled thanks to various industrial cleaning processes followed by powder coating to provide a durable and high-quality finish that will allow them to look their best for years to come. You’ll need to work with a company providing professional powder coating services to achieve this as it isn’t a process you can do at home.

Add some outdoor accessories 

We often think about accessorising the inside of our home, but we can forget that you can do the same for outside. A great option is choosing something that you can hang on your garden walls or fences. Something like an outdoor clock can look fantastic, along with being functional. Depending on the size of your garden, choosing the right size will be important, but it is worth considering, and there are lots of great options you can choose from.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, why not consider some outdoor lights. This can help you to enjoy evenings in the garden, and there are many different variations you can choose from. Fairy lights are always popular and work well in small spaces, but solar-powered lights that can be placed in the ground can really help highlight features of a larger garden and create a great atmosphere.

Experiment with a feature wall

Like accessories, feature walls are often thought of as being an indoor design choice. However, they can work brilliantly in your garden as well. Using different materials to your other walls, choosing a different colour or even creating a plant wall with specifically chosen plants can create a great effect and give your garden a focal point or new feature.

Even as summer begins to come to an end, hopefully, there will be some nice weather this autumn, and the changes you can make to your garden do not have to be big projects. All of the ideas highlighted above can be achieved quickly and without a huge amount of effort. Hopefully, this has given you some ideas about how you can improve your garden this summer, or at least made you think about changes you may want to make in the runup to next summer!