welcome to our electrical faq page. here you may find answers to frequently asked questions regarding your electrical service and electrical safety
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Call King Electrical Services, Inc to repair, troubleshoot, replace or install your electrical services.
King Electrical Services, Inc.
Phone: (336) 362-9394
According to the USFA (United States Fire Administration) electrical fires are responsible for the death of over 3,000 individuals in addition to over 16,000 injuries per year.
[Source: US Fire Administration]
According to the NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System) the percentage of fatal residential building fires which did not have sufficient information to determine the cause of fire was 43%, with residential building fires accounting for 79% of all fatal building fires in 2006 – 2008.
[Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System]
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) In 2010, electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in 13% of reported home fires, 16% of home fire deaths, 11% of home fire injuries, and 22% of the direct property damage from home fires.
[Source: National Fire Protection Agency]
The above statistics are why it is our mission at King Electrical Services, Inc to inform and educate the general public of electrical hazards and electrical safety.
Below you will find useful information related to your electrical system as well as electrical safety tips to safeguard you and your loved ones.
UNLICENSED, UNINSURED AND UNQUALIFIED ELECTRICAL WORK HAZARDS
What we see a lot of…unlicensed, uninsured and unqualified electrical work which usually results in the creation of shock, electrocution and fire hazards for the homeowner and their loved ones.
SIMPLY PUT – ELECTRICAL WORK IS NOT LIKE CARPENTRY OR PLUMBING…IF DONE INCORRECTLY THE CONSEQUENCES COULD BE WORSE THAN A CABINET DOOR THAT IS CROOKED OR DRIPPING AT THE KITCHEN SINK… THE CONSEQUENCES COULD BE SHOCK, ELECTROCUTION OR FIRE!
We like calling this one the “You, Who, Sue”…
YOU go with WHO you can SUE!
Not only is unlicensed electrical work a criminal offense and punishable by law it is also partially to blame for building fires. CERTAIN PROFESSIONS REQUIRE CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS…
You wouldn’t let the guy who cuts your grass clean your teeth, would you? Well, if you do and you wind up toothless…trust that you won’t be able to sue that lawn boy…the same is true for electrical work. It is a requirement that licensed electricians be insured for your protection prior to performing electrical work. So don’t ruin you’re relationship with the lawn boy…or who ever else claims that “they can do it”… You need a licensed and insured electrician in order to protect you and your loved ones when having electrical work performed.
WHERE SHOULD AFCI (ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS) BE INSTALLED?
AFCI protection is a National Electrical Code requirement.
The following locations shall be AFCI protected:
All 120 Volt 15 and 20 Amp branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreational rooms, closets, hallways or similar rooms or areas.
GFCI (GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS)
What are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters? Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are devices (breaker or receptacle) that are designed to prevent electrical shock and electrocution by detecting a ground fault, which is a break in the low-resistance grounding path from the electrical system, and effectively deenergizing the circuit to eliminate the shock and electrocution hazard. During a ground fault, the electrical current may take an alternative path to ground through a person, resulting in serious injuries or death. The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI, is a fast-acting device designed to shut off electrical power in the event of a ground fault within as little as 1/40th of a second. It works by comparing the amount of current going to and returning from equipment along the circuit conductors. When the amount going differs from the amount returning by approximately 5 milliamperes, the GFCI interrupts the current. The GFCI device should be tested monthly and can be done so with the simple push of a button (Test Button) on the GFCI receptacle or the GFCI breaker.
WHERE SHOULD GFCI (GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS) BE INSTALLED?
GFCI protection is a National Electrical Code requirement.
The following locations shall be GFCI protected:
All 120 Volt 15 and 20 Amp branch circuits supplying outlets installed in bathrooms, garages, outdoors, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, above kitchen countertops, within 6′ of all sinks and in storage areas, which have a floor at or below grade level, and are not intended as habitable rooms.
PORTABLE ELECTRIC SPACE HEATERS
We all know what Portable Electric Space Heaters are… but are we aware of the hazards associated with them? We’re not talking about the obvious which is keeping them 3 foot away from combustible materials such as curtains and/or bedding… we’re talking about creating a hazard know as overloading circuitry. Portable Electric Space Heaters seem like a good idea for a source of heat, but that they are not. These devices are affordable and easy to find during the Fall and Winter Seasons and the packaging yields no warnings such as “CONSULT WITH AN ELECTRICIAN PRIOR TO CONNECTING THIS APPLIANCE TO ELECTRICAL OUTLETS” …as we feel it should.
The most common Portable Electric Space Heater Appliances are rated at 1500 Watts, which means it increases the circuitry serving it by 12.5 Amps. The most common household receptacles have 15 Amp wiring used as branch circuitry and are protected by a 15 Amp fuse or breaker. If you consider that you are adding 12.5 Amps to an existing branch circuit which is most likely have previously had a load on it from lighting and electronics which are shared by the circuitry, you can see how you will more than likely be overloading a circuit by operating the Portable Electric Space Heater Appliance. The fuse will blow or the breaker will trip if you’re lucky. The fuse or breaker may have been over sized (ex. 15 Amp wiring protected by a 20 Amp fuse or breaker) which will prohibit the fuse or breaker from protecting the circuit and create perfect conditions for an electrical fire. The solution is to discontinue use of these Portable Electric Space Heater Appliances or have a licensed electrician install a dedicated 20 Amp circuit with 20 Amp wiring to serve the Portable Electric Space Heater with no other loads.
The amount of power consumed by these Portable Electric Space Heater Appliances is great enough to cause damages to your electrical wiring at receptacle outlets as well as throughout the electrical wiring beyond the receptacle outlet box when connected to a circuit which is overloaded by the appliances power consumption. These Portable Electric Space Heater Appliances have been responsible for many structural fires, injuries as well as deaths.
The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) estimates that from 2005 to 2007, portable electric heaters were involved in approximately 1,100 fires per year. Many of these units have been recalled by the manufacturers for defectiveness…
Visit the Official Site of the CPSC to check to see if the electric space heater(s) you have have been recalled
FPE (FEDERAL PACIFIC)
The following FPE (Federal Pacific Electric) Electrical Panels and breakers have been labeled as being design flaws and fire hazards. If you have one of these electrical panels you need to have a licensed electrician replace it immediately!
DISCOLORED OR DAMAGED SWITCHES AND RECEPTACLES & MISSING OR DAMAGED SWITCH, RECEPTACLE AND JUNCTION BOX COVER PLATES
You know better…that missing cover plate on that receptacle with the ground prong from an electrical cord broken off in the device, needs to be fixed. Just a few small hazards combined can put you in some serious trouble when it comes to your electrical system. It may not look like much…a little discoloring of a receptacle…you justify it by reminding yourself how little you use it. That’s irrelevant…electrical fires can start at receptacles with nothing plugged into the receptacle. More times than we can count we have heard customers say “Well, I don’t use these outlets in this room anyway so it doesn’t matter to me if they work or not. The truth is when you suddenly have a part of your electrical system stop working correctly, such as receptacle outlets, there is more times than not an electrical arc hazard present. Electrical arcing is the number one cause of electrical fires. So…do sweat the little things…keep you’re electrical system maintained and in proper working order.
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS
A national survey conducted by Franklin Research Institute for CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) showed that homes built before 1972, and wired with aluminum, are 55 times more likely to have one or more wire connections at outlets reach “Fire Hazard Conditions” than homes wired with copper.
SMOKE AND FIRE ALARMS
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
INSTALL THEM, IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT THEY SAVE LIVES!
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, making sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.
The NFPA recommends you test your smoke and fire alarms once a month.
Replace any defective smoke and fire alarms immediately.
For more information on smoke and fire alarms visit the Official Site of the National Fire Protection Agency