Do GFCI Outlets Go Bad?

Since their introduction into the National Electrical Code (NEC), Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet location requirements have expanded way beyond the initial recommendations, and now include practically every outlet on your property, in and out of the house. These life-saving devices have improved to the point where they are, almost, tamper-proof, but they can still suffer the consequences of age, overuse, and/or incorrect installation. SIMPLE GFCI TROUBLESHOOTING GFCI outlets were initially designed to protect against electrical shock hazards in...

Space Heater Safety Tips

Central heating systems distribute warm air throughout a building, but some rooms may have cold spots or need additional heat. Space heaters can be a great way to augment heat, and they can also be the source of fires, shocks and injury. As winter drags on, many people will take their safety for granted, and they will forget to maintain proper space heater safety precautions. Below are several space heater safety tips to help you stay warm and safe throughout...

Know Your Home Electrical System

Electricity powers almost everything that makes our lives comfortable. Heating and cooling equipment, refrigerators, computers, lights, fans and hybrid cars require electricity to function. Before World War II, 60 amperes at the service panel was adequate to meet home electrical system requirements. Today, households require a minimum of 100 amps. Large homes, or those with electrical heat and other major electrical appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers, may require 150 to 200 amps of service. Your home electrical...

Top 10 Holiday Electrical Hazards

Home electrical safety may not be the most festive topic, but it's an important consideration before pulling out the holiday decorations. Knowing what holiday electrical hazards are most common during the season, you can prevent unnecessary problems and help to keep your family safe. Here are the top 10 causes of electrical shock, fires, and other issues during the holidays: 1.) Using the wrong type of lights Indoor holiday lights are not always waterproof or safe to use outside. Outdoor...

Electrical Inspection for the Holidays

Keep Your Home Safe with an Electrical Inspection The holidays are looming around the corner and that means a lot of time spent in the kitchen and a great time for an electrical inspection. It’s easy to get distracted by the stresses of stuffing the turkey and housing the in-laws and before you know it, you have used twice as much energy than usual in your home. Don’t let those distractions get overshadowed by the importance of inspecting your house’s...

Two Prong Electrical Outlet Safety

Three Prong vs. Two Prong Electrical Outlet We’ve all noticed the obvious difference between a two prong electrical outlet and a three prong electrical outlet. But many have never stopped to consider why they’re different and what the difference might mean for your home. The answer is quite a bit. The main difference between a two prong electrical outlet and a three prong electrical outlet is that a three prong outlet has a ground wire, while a two prong outlet...

Electrical Trivia from Mister Sparky

Electricity: is everywhere and nowhere all at once. How much do you know about electrical trivia and the invisible energy that lights up the world? (answers below) Question #1: Which American company consumes the highest percentage of the world’s energy? General Motors ExxonMobil Google Dow Question #2: Halogen lamps should always be kept away from? Curtains Clothing Combustible materials All of the above Question #3: Which state consumes the most amount of electricity per household? California New York Wyoming Louisiana...

Mister Sparky’s National Fire Safety Month Tips

October means Halloween, football and beautiful foliage. It’s also National Fire Safety Month. On average, fires cause 3000 deaths and 15000 injuries in the US each year. According to the CDC, children four and under are particularly susceptible to fire-related injuries and deaths. You can help your children understand the importance of fire safety through drills, talks and safety tips. Here at Mister Spark, we want to remind you of the best ways to keep your home safe so that...

Electrical Safety For Football Season

Football season is here. Whether your passions are with your high school, college, NFL, or fantasy team (or even if you’re just along for the ride for the sake of a good tailgate party), a lack of safety precaution can make your game watching experience miserable. At Home Keep electrical appliances away from the sink- This is one bit of advice that we all learned in childhood, but it’s so easy to forget when you’re trying to watch the game,...

How To Save Energy For The Fall

Labor Day is in the rearview and autumn is almost upon us. You know what that means: Halloween decorations, pumpkin spice everything, and some blessedly cooler weather. As much as you might love the lower temperatures and turning leaves, if you aren’t careful, the season can do a number on your energy bills. Buttoning up your home for the cold months will mean a lot of energy saving opportunities, and more ways to cut back on wasted energy that won’t...