Tips to Keep Your Electrical System Working Safely Year Round

Tips to Keep Your Electrical System Working Safely Year Round

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Landscape lighting

Your home’s electrical system is one of the most used ones in your home. Because it’s so important, don’t you want to make sure that things are running smoothly? If you need electrical work done, it’s best to leave it to the professionals at Ryan Gath Electric. Your electrical system is complex, and should only be touched by a licensed electrician. However, there are a few things that you can do on your own to keep things working properly and safely. Here are some safety tips for your home – both indoors and out:

Electrical Safety Indoors

  • Unplug chargers. Did you know that your battery chargers continue to pull a trickle of electricity through the wires even if you’re not actively charging your electronics? Unplugging them from the wall completely offers one less opportunity for a fire to start–plus saves money on your next energy bill!
  • Make space for electrical features. Ensure that your electrical outlets are clear of furniture or clothing that could potentially cause a spark or burn if they got hot enough.
  • Get the right bulbs. Lighting fixtures are rated for specific bulb wattages, and exceeding that wattage requirement can cause an overload on your wiring, just as one with inadequate power can cause damage. 
  • Replace damaged cords. Damaged cords are prone to cause shock, short circuits or even fire. If you see any wear and tear or fraying, choose to replace over making any home repairs. 
  • Use a GCFI. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (or GCFIs) are commonly used in outlets, and can immediately shut off electric power to reduce the risk of electric shock or fires. 
  • Test smoke and CO detectors. An easy way to remember when you need to test your carbon dioxide and smoke detectors is that they should be tested and batteries replaced with each change of the seasons!

Electrical Safety Outdoors

Summer isn’t over yet! There’s still plenty of time left to spend outdoors. Here in New England, we love  fall just as much as summer. It’s not too hot and not yet to cold. No matter which one you prefer, there are still electrical safety features to consider outside of your home, as well as inside. Whether you are gardening, mowing the lawn, or lounging out by the pool, you need to be careful when using electricity. Here are a few ways that you can help stay safe while enjoying your time outdoors! 

  • Keep cords, wires, and electrical equipment dry. Pools, hoses, sprinkler systems – even rainy days can damage your outdoor electrical components if they aren’t properly maintained or protected. They should all be kept separate and stored safely when not in use.  
  • Check for damages. This is especially important for power tools and electric lawnmowers, as frayed wires, loose connections, and other areas of wear and tear can be a safety hazard. Hold off on using these tools until you have them repaired. Any broken or cracked tools or appliances can be dangerous. If they are beyond repair, have them replaced as soon as possible.
  • Be careful digging. If you’re planning to dig around your home, you should leave it to the professionals. Some areas have underground cables, and most of your plumbing is located underground as well.
  • Always unplug outdoor tools and appliances when they’re not in use. Make sure to store them properly and safely afterwards. 
  • Landscape lighting. It not only helps to light the way for you, it increases home security. It also adds curb appeal! Ryan Gath Electric can set up your landscape lighting to not only keep you safe, but to add value to your home.
  • Falling trees. Heavy winds and rain can knock down branches, causing them to take out nearby power lines. If this happens, stay as far away as possible. Downed power lines can still be live, and there’s no way to tell just by looking at it. Call emergency services as soon as you notice a downed line.
  • Power line safety. If you’re doing work to your home, it’s important to keep your distance from power lines above. Whether you’re trimming a tree, using a ladder, or working on your roof, stay at least 10 feet away.

We want to make sure you’re electrical system and appliances are working safe year round! If you have questions, or to book a service, call Ryan Gath Electric today. 

By Ryan Gath Electric

Ways to Conserve Electricity During the Brightest Time of the Year

Ways to Conserve Electricity During the Brightest Time of the Year

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Keep holidays bright with Ryan Gath Electric

The holidays are here! And whether you’ve simply decorated a tree in your living room or have created a full-blown light spectacle in your yard, there’s no doubt that you’ll be consuming more power than usual. Add to that those late nights when you’re hosting holiday dinners and parties for family, friends, and neighbors, and looking at your December electricity bill could make you start your New Year off with a financial hangover.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can conserve electricity during the brightest time of the year. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Put a timer on your holiday lights. It’s great to have your holiday lights on when you’re home, as well as at the beginning of the evening. However, you don’t see them when you’re not home or asleep—so why would you keep them on during those times? To make sure you don’t forget to turn them off, put them on a timer so they shut off automatically at the right time.
  • Use LED holiday lights. LED holiday lights might require a slightly higher investment, but they have many benefits. They’re more energy-efficient and use between 80 and 90 percent less power than regular lights. They also last longer, and since they don’t get hot to the touch, they’re less of a fire hazard so they’re much safer.
  • Turn down the thermostat when you have a full house. Have you ever noticed how the indoor temperature rises when you have a lot of people in a room together? If you have a lot of guests over, just turn down the thermostat to below 65 degrees so the heating doesn’t come on. Note that while a lot of people open a window when it gets uncomfortably hot, the cold air is more likely to make your heating crank up. So, turn down the thermostat, and you’ll notice a difference in your energy bill.
  • Use battery-powered decorations with rechargeable batteries. Not all holiday decorations need to be plugged into a power outlet. There are plenty of battery-powered decorations available that work just as well. To conserve power and respect the environment, use rechargeable batteries.
  • Turn down the thermostat when you’re cooking. Are you hosting some large dinners over the holidays? Then you’ll probably know that the heat from your stove and oven can drive up the indoor temperature considerably. That means you can turn down the thermostat in the kitchen and adjacent areas to save power.
  • Lower the thermostat setting for the upstairs area of your home. Heat rises. If you and your family are home all day with the heating on, then a lot of this heat will rise to the upper levels of your home and heat that area naturally.

Decorative lights add so much to the holiday cheer we all cherish so much—but it’s important to keep your energy consumption normal, too. With these tips in mind, you’ll be more filled with the holiday spirit, instead of worry about your next energy bill.

If any electrical issues pop up in your Chelmsford, MA home this holiday season, call Ryan Gath Electric! 

By Ryan Gath Electric