Electrical Safety & Security

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Everyone knows the hazards of fire; so most people have installed fire detectors in their homes. What you may not know is that it’s equally important to also have carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and animals when encountered in high concentrations. It can leak from indoor heating or cooling systems or even through your garage from car exhaust.

Carbon monoxide alarms are designed to alert the homeowner when carbon monoxide levels accumulate over a period of time, and will alarm before most people would experience any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing carbon monoxide alarms with electrochemical sensing technology in the home also provide sufficient protection for residents. The more accurate a carbon monoxide alarm, the greater your chances of appropriately responding to the problem.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors/alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire by half.

Safety Tips

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in homes.
  • Test Alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer’s instructions for testing and maintenance.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
  • Be sure the smoke alarm has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Alarms that are hard-wired (and include battery backup) must be installed by a qualified electrician.
  • If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a “hush” button. A “hush” button will reduce the alarm’s sensitivity for a short period of time.
  • An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
  • Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
  • Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms. Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.
gfci white frontal picture

GFCI Protected Outlets

Every year, hundreds of Americans die due to electrical accidents called electrocution – death caused by electric shock. Sometimes electrocution happens in utility and construction incidents, but these tragic accidents happen in homes, too. Before the widespread adoption of GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets, around 800 people died annually in the United States. Now, thanks largely to the proliferation of GFCI technologies, particularly in areas near water, such as bathroom sinks or in places exposed to rain or standing water, that number has dropped significantly.

In short, GFCI outlets exist to protect people from electrical shock — it is completely different from a house fuse. The idea behind a fuse is to protect a structure from an electrical fire. Unlike a home’s fuse, the GFCI is integrated in the outlet itself. When you plug in an appliance, such as a hair dryer, the GFCI outlet monitors the amount of power going to the device. If you accidentally drop the appliance into sink full of water, the GFCI detects the interruption in current and cuts the power … and possibly saves your life.

So how do you know if you’re looking at an outlet equipped with GFCI capabilities? You’ll see a Test and a Reset button (and perhaps an indicator light) built right into the outlet. If you do not see a GFCI outlet in your restroom, near your kitchen, outside, or near any other potential for electric shock. Learn more from Bob Vila here. Call Mike’s today!

surge protector

What Is A Surge Protector?

A surge protector is an appliance designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes such as lightning strikes, and power outages. A surge protector attempts to limit the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or by shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold.

Replacing equipment is neither easy nor inexpensive. Having surge protection comes with many benefits:

  • Reduces the loss of equipment due to voltage spikes
  • Reduces equipment downtime
  • Reduces maintenance costs
  • Reduces electric bill
Security Camera app on the phone

Security Cameras & Doorbells

Home security cameras are a crucial investment in protecting your home. Thieves may even get away scot-free if your home isn’t equipped with the right technology to ID any robbers. The latest outdoor security cameras combine the convenient features of any smart home device with advanced camera technology so you’ll always have an eye on your home. Our top picks for security cameras will send alerts to your phone when they detect motion, be able to record in HD quality even at night, and are designed to withstand any type of weather. 

Some systems also include doorbell security cameras. If you install a video surveillance system, consider how many cameras you need, their resolution and how many hours / how much storage space of recorded video you plan to use.

  • If you’re often out of town, consider security cameras that feature remote monitoring.
  • For homes in areas where break-ins are a concern, the best outdoor security cameras feature security lighting to improve your field of view. Choose from stationary lights or lights with motion detectors.
  • You may also want to consider a camera with excellent night vision or two-way audio so you can scare off intruders by letting them know you’ve called the authorities.
Security lights and how they provide protection

Security Lighting

Motion Detecting lights   

Motion sensor lights are the ideal solution for lighting certain parts of your home like exterior walkways, driveways and garage areas. They also serve as outdoor security lights, helping protect your property against intruders or trespassers. While most motion sensor lights will perform dutifully when installed correctly, they can fail from time to time. Many security lights today now come with cameras for added safety, call for details.

A smart thermostat is a thermostat that can be controlled with a phone, tablet, smart speaker, or other internet-connected device. Smart thermostats typically allow you to schedule your desired temperature settings, and you can also incorporate them into home automation systems. Learn more on our Smart Thermostats page.

Water Leak Alert

Have you ever come home to a soggy wet floor or found out too late that your kitchen sink, toilet, water heater or washer has a slow leak? If so then you know how expensive it can be to repair or replace carpets, flooring, and walls that have sustained water damage. Finding leaks before they can do major damage is now easier than ever thanks smart home water-sensing devices that send alerts to your phone when they detect moisture. They range in complexity from simple sensors that with an audible alert, smart sensors with an alert to your device or an in-line systems that monitors your water flow rate for irregularities. Our professionals can help you find the right system.

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