Just How Safe Are Our Homes? – Inspired By Fab Electric
I recently read a news article about an Electrical Company in Montgomery County Maryland, “Fab Electric” that told a story about a very dangerous problem they found that probably saved someones life! I’ve Known Jim Fab of Fab Electric for a few years and we both share one thing in common, we really care about the well being of our customers and employees, so when I read this article about his company I was inspired to write this article about the most common hazards we found over the last Month. I don’t know if these tips will save someone’s life or not, but at least I can bring some of these issues to your attention and encourage you to take a careful look around your home!
One thing almost everyone looks forward to every Memorial day weekend is the first family cookout on the deck.
This year, before you fire up the old grill, lift up the cooking grates to check for nesting material from birds and other animals. Make sure that nests won’t block the flow of gas and cause a sudden combustion that could flare up in your face when lighting the grill. Also, make sure your grill is at least 5′ away from your home so you don’t have to worry about the heat from the grill causing your siding to melt. If the owner of this home hadn’t come back out to check on their steaks when they did, their home probably would have caught on fire in a few more minutes! Something else to think about is the condition of your deck, when was the last time that it was cleaned and sealed to remove slippery mildew? When was it inspected to ensure that the railings and footers were in good condition? If it’s been over a year, visit our website, or give us a call for a free estimate.
Some mulches, especially the ground rubber commonly used in playgrounds can ignite within a minute and are very difficult to put out, not to mention the poisonous fumes they produce. Itâ€™s rare that you would have a fire in mulch that is immediate, most creep along under the mulch and then ignite, with rubber as an exception. It spreads fast and canâ€™t be contained.
Overall, mulches high in oils, such as pinebark and shredded cypress bark, can be ignited easily from a carelessly dropped cigarette. Besides cigarettes, some deck stains can also spontaneously burst into flame if left on rags in a confined area, or in some cases, if the stain is sprayed onto mulch and left to dry. You have probably seen freshly laid mulch smoking occasionally as it starts to decompose on a hot sunny day, when you do, just keep in mind that it doesn’t take much to get it to ignite!
GFCI Outlets – Tip from Fab Electric
Fab Electric also pointed out some other electrical problems. Exterior outlets like the one shown in this photo can easily break without you realizing it. Sometimes they are also improperly installed with gaskets, without covers, or improperly caulked leaving a tiny gap that water can enter during a rainstorm. If not replaced a tiny problem like this could easily cause your home to burn down while your at work, or while your at home sleeping. Exterior outlets may be handy to have but they can also be extremely dangerous if they aren’t maintained properly. By replacing these outlets with A watertight, or in-use, outlet covers and a GFCI outlet, you can prevent some serious injuries. An outlet with a short can also easily electrocute someone while plugging something in too. By using a cover like the one shown below you can allow the outside outlet to stay covered even with a cord plugged in. The National Electrical Code also requires the use of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets outdoors. A GFCI outlet trips itself off when it senses a current leakage or a short circuit.
Another word of caution, don’t attempt to perform electrical or any other type of utility repair yourself. Hire a professional to handle anything involving plumbing, electrical or gas on your home. You can always call us to get a referral for work that we don’t perform, or if you would just like to get another estimate. The dangers of working with any type of utility just aren’t worth the risk to your health, or your home. If you watch the news you probably saw a recent story where someone had done some work on a gas powered dryer and didn’t do it correctly, which resulted in the house being blown up. Incidents like these happen all the time from inexperienced contractors, DIY enthusiasts. Saving a $100 bucks or so just isn’t worth the risk of losing your home or your life. If you think it is, please call us first or call Fab Electric, and we will try to work out something to help you!
If it’s been a while since your home has been inspected, I highly recommend that you get this done at least every three years. Home inspections just aren’t for when your buying or selling a new home. A home inspector can find hidden problems that you might not be aware of, before they become major problems that cost far more to fix!
We launched our new web site and upgraded some of it’s features including our online estimating system, online payments and some other new features that we will be running some unique specials and discounts on, like our Facebook page, YouTube Channel, Twitter, and our RSS FEED. We hope you enjoy these new areas and sign up for them this week for some of the free prizes we are giving away this week!
If you would like to contact us to schedule a service, get an estimate, or if you need immediate attention, please call our main office at 301-216-9675.
Don’t forget, we also have an extensive network of contractors and service providers for anything you could possibly need from Accountants to Real Estate Agents!Â If you would like a referral for anything at all, just give us a call at 301-216-9675 or email us!
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I’d like to thank Jim Fab, from Fab Electric
I mentioned before I got the idea for writing this article from reading a similar article about Fab Electric. Electrical Company in Montgomery County Maryland, “Fab Electric”