How Important Is It for My House to Be Grounded

How Important Is It for My House to Be Grounded?

An electric fire can strike anytime; what is the best thing I can do?

Make sure your home is electrically grounded is the first thing you should do.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, electric fires have been the leading cause of property damages and fire-related casualties in Atlanta for the last 5 years.  They further claim that most of these accidents could have been easily avoided if the homes were grounded.

We all grew up hearing the adage “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.  Hiring the services of an Atlanta electrical contractor to get your home grounded is the best thing you can do to keep your family and home appliances safe. To ensure fail-proof protection, one must ensure that all the 240 Volts and 120 Volts electrical circuits in the home are properly grounded.

If you are staying in a home in Atlanta that was constructed about 2 decades ago, then in all probability, the electrical outlets wouldn’t be having a third slot for a grounding prong. In modern appliances as well as electric outlets, there is a provision for a ground wire so that whenever there is a voltage surge or fluctuation, the excessive current is directed toward the ground and not through you. This will reduce the chances of electric fires and electric shocks.

Though electrical grounding is not mandatory for older homes according to the latest codes, getting them updated could provide you with benefits such as:

  • Protection from overvoltage, especially during line surges or thunderstorms, as this is the time when a high current flows through the electric wires, which can prove to be dangerous.
  • Save your family and your expensive electronic equipment by stabilizing the voltage and making the excessive current flow through the earth.

Most of the new homes electric circuits are properly grounded, but if you are staying in an old home and want to get your home grounded to the latest codes without the headaches of expensive rewiring, get the expertise of the electrical contractors in Atlanta and install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters.

Ensure that the electrician you hire follows all the National Electric Code Guidelines when completing electrical grounding in your home, as this will also help you pass your home inspection with flying colors.

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How Does Having Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) Protect Me

How Does Having Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) Protect Me

Any experienced firefighter in Atlanta will definitely have a horror story to narrate because of a fire that was caused due to electric shorts and the absence of an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) to protect the home. With more than $638 million worth of Atlanta property being lost in electrical fires last year, it doesn’t come as a big surprise to see people hiring Atlanta electrical contractors to install AFCI circuit breakers in their homes for protection.

An arc fault interrupter works by closing the electrical circuits as soon as it detects an electrical arcing situation. AFCI is also capable of detecting unknown wiring problems that may exist in your home and protect you from fire hazards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) endorses the use of these devices, as they have tested them and found them to be effective in discovering arcs and stopping the fires from breaking out.

Arc faults can happen in your homes for numerous of reasons like damaged wires, damaged or misapplied appliance cords, receptacle leakage, loose or wet electrical connection, shorted/stressed/overheated wires etc. The problem of arcing is commonly seen in older homes because of the aging and degradation of electrical wiring.

An AFCI is often confused with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI. While a GFCI protects you from electric shocks, it is the AFCI that is useful to prevent the fire breakout caused due to arching. A combination unit will soon hit the market to address both problems simultaneously.

Do I need an AFCI in my home to protect me? If your mind is still searching for the answer to the above question, then here are some reasons that will help you make a quick decision:

  • Standard circuit breakers will be benefitted with the added protection of AFCI against arcing faults.
  • The 2008 National Electric Code has made the use of AFCI compulsory. It is now mandatory to use this device with all 120 V and 15-20A branch circuits that are supplying power to outlets located in your bedrooms, dining area, family rooms, dens, sun rooms, recreation rooms, and all other places.
  • Lower insurance premiums are another benefit of installing arc fault circuit interrupters in your home.

An electrician in Atlanta can easily replace the circuit breakers in your home with AFCI breakers and make your home a safer place to live in. Install AFCI to protect your home and to enjoy a peaceful sleep at night.

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Protect Your Children- Install Tamper Proof Receptacles

Protect Your Children - Install Tamper Proof Receptacles

Kids are adventurous creatures, and until the age of 6, they can be best termed as discoverers. Nothing can be scarier than seeing them discover electrical receptacles and insert metallic objects in them or try to probe them with their tiny fingers. This is one of the main reasons why an Atlanta electrical contractor gets many requests to install tamper-proof receptacles, especially in older homes.

Every year, about 2700 children in America below the age of 6 are treated in emergency centers for electric shocks and burns they suffer because of inserting metal objects into a receptacle. Toddlers account for almost 50% of these victims, as these tiny tots have very delicate skin that offers little protection against electric currents.

The National Fire Protection Association has now deemed the use of tamper-resistant receptacles compulsory in all dwellings with 15-20 ampere and 120 Volt receptacles. Tamper resistant receptacles have been around for the past decade, but it was only in the 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) that their use was made mandatory in all the newly constructed homes.

Though we never think twice about spending money when it comes to the safety of our children and grandchildren, you will still be happy to know that tamper proof receptacles cost just about half a dollar more than the standard devices. Therefore, they are economically, and extremely effective devices.

These receptacles have the same look and feel like their older cousins, but their internal architecture is totally different. A tamper resistant receptacle is designed with an internal shutter system that instantly closes its slots when it is not being used. The shutters will open only when a two-pronged device is inserted into it and will remain shut when a toddler tries to probe it by using a hairpin or nail in just one slot. Your child will thus be protected against electrical burns and electrocution when these devices are installed.

Replacing your old receptacles with these new devices is an easy task that could be performed by electrical contractors in Atlanta within a matter of minutes. No new wiring is needed to install tamper-resistant receptacles. Make your home safer for your kids by opting for these cheap and yet valuable devices.

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