• Water Heaters
    - Install a timer to reduce power consumption.  You are heating your water whether you use it or not.
    - Turn the thermostat down a few degrees.
    - Install an insulation blanket around the heater 
  • Smoke Detectors
    - Have detectors installed in proper locations.
    - Have all detectors interconnected to sound together.
    - Replace the batteries in all detectors at the beginning of every year.
  • Electrical Connections
    - With changing temperatures, metals expand and contract.  The screws holding the wire in place can loosen.   This can cause arcing and heat buildup.   The connections should be tightened periodically to prevent arcing and heat buildup, which is the number one cause of house fires.  This preventative maintenance should be done on all outlets, switches, and, especially, electrical panels.
  • Space Heaters
    - Be sure to keep ample space from any flammable material.
    - Do not plug a space heater into an extension cord.
    - There may be a need to install a baseboard heat or additional receptacles to facilitate space heaters.  This will prevent overloading circuits.
  • Outlets
    - Check for outlets that have loose-fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire.
    - Replace any missing or broken wall plates, outlets and switches.  This will contain any sparks, in the event of a problem.
    - Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.
    - Make sure your plugs fit your outlet.  NEVER remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three prong cord fit a two-conductor outlet.  This could lead to electrical shock.
    - Never force a plug into an outlet if it doesn't fit.  Have a qualified electrician install the proper wiring and outlets for your needs.
  • Cords and Extension Cords
    - Make sure cords are in good condition - not frayed or cracked.
    - Make sure they are placed out of traffic areas, not under carpets and rugs and do not rest furniture on them.
    - Cords should never be nailed or stapled in place.
    - Extension cords should never be overloaded and are only for temporary use.
    - Make sure extension cords have safety closures for unused outlets to help prevent injury to young children.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
    - GFCI receptacles should be used in any area where water and electricity may come in contact with each other.
    - Test your GFCIs on a monthly basis and after major electrical storms to ensure proper operation.
    - GFCIs can help prevent electrocution when there is a "leakage" in electrical current.  It will sense the leakage and interrupt power fast enough to prevent serious injury.
    - If you have an older home and your outlet goes out on the outside of the house, look for a GFCI outlet in your bathroom.  That could have tripped, causing the others not to work.  Reset it by pressing the reset button in the center.
  • Light Bulbs
    - Check the wattage of all bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the recommended size for the fixture.  Replace any incorrect bulbs with the correct wattage bulbs.  Consult a qualified electrician if you are unsure of the correct wattage of your fixture.  Using higher wattages can cause heat buildup and cause the wire to become brittle and unsafe.
    - Make sure the bulbs are screwed in securely.  Loose bulbs can overheat and create a fire hazard.
  • Circuit Breakers and Fuses
    - Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating for their circuit.  If you don't know the correct size or are unsure, have a qualified electrician identify and label the correct application.
    - Always replace circuit breakers and fuses with the correct size for your circuit.
    - To reset a tripped breaker, turn it to the off position then back to the on position.  If the breaker trips again, call a qualified electrician to check out the circuit.
  • Appliances
    - Do not leave a hand-held appliance where it may fall into water.  If it comes in contact with water, DO NOT REACH IN AND PULL IT OUT.  Turn the power source off then unplug the appliance before pulling it out.  Have the appliance checked by a qualified repairman before using the appliance again.
    - If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or, if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replace it.

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3690 N. Patterson Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
Phone:  (336) 760-3580
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