Electrical Outlets Light Switches Dimmer Switches

Protect yourself from these common workplace electrical hazards

We work with and around electricity every day. It’s a critical and essential part of our lives. Whether you work in an office cubicle, a construction zone, a commercial kitchen, or any space with an outlet, you are at risk of an electrical injury and sometimes even death.

Electrical Outlets Light Switches Dimmer SwitchesPotential Hazards

Electrical hazards are everywhere! They are often so common that we often don’t even notice them. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself and those around you against these hazards is to know how to spot them. Once they are identified, they can easily be repaired or replaced. Below is a list of some of the most common electrical hazards.

  1. Damaged Wires and Cords: Any cord with the outer sheathing torn or wire exposed should be thrown away. Cords that are corroded, frayed, or melted should also be tossed. If you handle this type of cord, you risk getting shocked or burned. These cords can also cause an electrical fire in your office or commercial space. It’s not a good idea to “fix” the cord by taping the tears. Your best option is to contact Main Stream Electric. We can check out the wiring and fix any cords that could potentially cause fires or electrocution.
  2. Damaged extension cords: Extension cords are handy, especially in an office environment. Unfortunately, they often are used as a permanent resolution instead of a temporary fix. Extension cords shouldn’t be run through ceilings or walls because they tend to overheat. In fact, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recently reported that each year 3,300 residential fires are caused by improper use of extension cords. Installing a new outlet closer to the appliance, computer, or electrical device is a safer and more permanent solution.
  3. Water: While most people know it’s not safe to mix water and electricity, it happens all the time. You can get hurt by simply plugging in your phone while your hands are wet. Anything that requires a power source should stay as far from water as possible. A small amount of water can cause a lot of damage.
  4. Broken smoke alarms: Most office buildings have plenty of smoke alarms. Unfortunately, they often go unchecked. If a smoke alarm is broken, it won’t alert you of a fire. Make sure the smoke alarms in your commercial building or office are checked regularly. They’re easy to test and can save lives.

Protecting Employees

It’s important to keep an eye out for electrical hazards and report them to a manager or supervisor immediately. Here are a few simple ways employees can help prevent electrical accidents.

  1. Know where the power source is located and how to shut off power in an emergency.
  2. When pulling out a plug, pull from the plug itself, not the cord.
  3. Use ceiling and floor plugs as often as possible.
  4. Never touch the prongs of a plug while inserting it into an outlet.
  5. Never plug in a cord if it is damaged, wet, or if you are touching a wet surface.
  6. If you notice an extension cord is warm while in use, it is being overloaded. Switch to a thicker extension cord.

If you have damaged wires, electrical shortages, or any other complex electrical concerns, contact Main Stream Electric. Our experienced and knowledgeable electricians will fix your electrical issues and ensure your workplace is safe from all types of electrical hazards.

Smoke Detectors

Are Your Smoke Alarms Really THAT Important?

YES! A proper functioning smoke alarm could save your life! Smoke alarms alert everyone in the house that there is a fire and give you time to get out. According to NFPA’s March 2014 “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires” report, three of every five home fire deaths occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. The report also found that from 2007-2011, smoke alarms only sounded in half of the home fires reported to the U.S. fire departments.

Smoke DetectorsSmoke alarms are one of the most important safety features in your home, but they often get the least amount of attention. Sometimes, we forget we even have them! We only notice them when we burn a meal, improperly put out a cigarette, or have an electrical fire. While you might find the alarms annoying, especially if you just burnt your favorite meal, they are just doing their job. Fire alarms are supposed to be sensitive to smoke in the air. They alert you at the first sign of trouble and hopefully give you enough time to put out a small fire or escape with your loved ones.

It’s critical you have fully functioning smoke alarms in your home. Below are a few steps you can take to protect your family and property against the unfortunate event of a fire.

  1. Test your smoke alarms regularly. There is a small “test button” on the front of your alarm. Press and hold down this button to test the alarm.
  2. Make sure you have the proper number of smoke alarms for the size of your home. The general rule is one alarm on each floor, in all bedrooms, and outside all sleeping spaces.
  3. Replace or repair all malfunctioning smoke alarms. Install additional alarms, if needed. To ensure your smoke alarms are installed and functioning properly, contact our experienced electricians at Main Stream Electric. We will protect and safeguard your home.
  4. Teach your kids about fire safety, fire escapes, and what to do in the event of a fire. Plan an escape route and practice it with your children. Many children try to grab their favorite blanket or stuffed animal before they leave the house. Stress the importance of leaving belongings behind and escaping the house as quickly as possible.
  5. Replace all fire alarms in your home every 10 years.

When you have properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in your home, you are doing your part to reduce the chances of fire deaths and injuries to yourself and your family. If your smoke alarms have not been tested or replaced recently, Main Stream Electric can help! We can protect your home by installing additional alarms and testing existing alarms. We also provide complete home electrical safety inspections. This is where we check for any other electrical issues in your home. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Main Stream Electric today!

Who Are We

Electrical Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Who Are WeElectricity is an integral part of our everyday lives. Whether we’re brewing coffee, heating our showers, washing our clothes, or charging our phones, electricity is vital to our modern day existence. But, like any other modern amenity, our home’s electrical system sometimes needs attention. Watching for electrical warning signs can help prevent serious electrical issues. Addressing an issue as it arises helps prevent unnecessary electrical damage and ultimately helps keep you and your family safe.

Below is a list of the most common electrical warning signs. If you keep an eye out for these signs, you may avoid costly property damage and injury.

  1. Electrical Shocks – Electrical shocks happen all the time. You can get shocked by simply crossing a carpeted area. While this type of shock is harmless, a shock from an appliance could mean you have inadequate electrical wiring or a ground fault in the appliance. It’s important not to ignore those minor shocks. They could be a sign of a bigger electrical issue.
  1. Flickering Lights – A flickering light could simply mean a loose or broken light bulb. First, replace the bulb and see if that solves the problem. If your lights are still flickering, the problem could be in your light fixture, in the circuit breaker wiring, or it could be a loose connection to the fixture. We recommend seeking a professional electrical contractor to remedy this problem.
  1. Burning Smell – A burning smell near your outlets or switches could indicate a very serious problem. It’s critical you turn your power off immediately and contact an electrician. At a minimum, the smell could be the result of an overloaded outlet or defective switch. But, a burning smell could be the start of an electrical fire. If not contained in time, electrical fires can destroy your property.
  1. Tripping or Faulty Circuit Breaker – Circuit breakers will trip when a circuit is overloaded. When a circuit breaker trips, it shuts down the electrical supply, preventing wires from overheating. If your circuit breaker trips and shuts down power to part or all of your home, it may need to be replaced. Replacing circuit breakers can be complicated and dangerous. It’s important to contact a professional electrician to determine whether your circuit breaker needs to be repaired or replaced.

Electrical problems shouldn’t be ignored. Thankfully, by educating yourself on the warning signs, you can address the electrical issue before it becomes a larger problem. If you’re concerned about your home’s electrical wiring or experienced any of the warning signs above, contact the professional electricians at Main Stream Electric today.