Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires

It is truly heartbreaking that over 25,000 home electrical fires occur in the United States annually, and what makes it even more distressing is that the majority of these incidents could have been avoided by implementing appropriate safety measures. Thankfully, most of these preventive measures are straightforward and can be implemented immediately. Taking simple precautions such as using electrical devices and outlets correctly can significantly minimize the risk of an electrical fire tragedy in your family.


Here are the 5 Essential Ways to prevent electrical fires and protect your home and loved ones.


  1. Ensure Proper Installation and Maintenance:

Proper installation and regular maintenance of electrical systems are crucial in preventing electrical fires. Hire a qualified electrician to correctly install wiring, outlets, and electrical appliances. Regularly inspect and maintain your electrical system, checking for loose wires, damaged cords, or overloaded circuits. Faulty wiring and connections are leading causes of electrical fires, so addressing any issues promptly is important.


  1. Avoid Overloading Circuits and Extension Cords:

Overloading circuits and using extension cords improperly are common causes of electrical fires. Distribute your electrical load evenly across circuits and avoid plugging multiple high-wattage appliances into a single outlet. When using extension cords, ensure they are rated for the intended use and never overload them with excessive power consumption. If you find yourself relying on extension cords extensively, consider adding additional outlets to accommodate your needs.


  1. Be Mindful of Heat-Producing Appliances:

Appliances that generate heat, such as space heaters, irons, and hairdryers, can be potential fire hazards. Always use these appliances with caution and never leave them unattended while in use. Keep flammable objects at a safe distance from heat-producing devices to prevent accidental ignition. Additionally, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage and maintenance of these appliances.


  1. Regularly Inspect and Replace Old Wiring:

Outdated or deteriorating wiring is a significant fire hazard. If your home is older or you suspect the wiring might be outdated, it is essential to have it inspected by a qualified electrician. Signs of faulty wiring include flickering lights, frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers, and discolored or sparking outlets. If any issues are identified, have the wiring replaced promptly to eliminate the risk of an electrical fire.


  1. Practice Electrical Safety Habits:

Adopting good electrical safety habits can go a long way in preventing fires. Always unplug appliances when they are not in use, rather than relying on the standby mode. Regularly clean and maintain your appliances to prevent dust buildup, as it can increase the risk of overheating. Teach your family, especially children, about the dangers of electrical appliances and the importance of using them responsibly.


Preventing electrical fires requires a combination of proper installation, regular maintenance, and responsible use of electrical systems and appliances. Electrical safety inspections provide great peace of mind for you and your family. By following these five essential ways to prevent electrical fires, you can significantly reduce the risk of fire and safeguard your home and loved ones. Remember, electrical safety is everyone’s responsibility, so make it a priority to create a secure environment in your household.

Enhancing LED Lighting Control: Replacing Faulty Drivers for Optimal Performance

In the world of lighting technology, LED lighting has revolutionized the way we illuminate our surroundings. LED lights are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and offer versatile lighting solutions for various applications. However, like any other electronic component, LED drivers can sometimes fail, leading to diminished performance or complete lighting failure. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of LED lighting control and discuss the process of substituting faulty LED drivers to ensure optimal performance and longevity.


Understanding LED Drivers:

LED drivers play a crucial role in LED lighting systems. They regulate the electrical current flowing through the LEDs, ensuring stable and consistent illumination. A failing LED driver can result in flickering lights, inconsistent brightness, or even a complete shutdown of the lighting system. Recognizing the signs of a failing driver is essential for maintaining the performance of LED lighting. 


Identifying Failing LED Drivers:

Several indicators can help identify faulty LED drivers. These include flickering lights, dimming or intermittent illumination, unusual buzzing or humming sounds, or complete failure of the lighting system. If you notice any of these symptoms, addressing the issue promptly is important to prevent further complications and potential safety hazards.


Substituting Faulty Drivers:

When faced with a failing LED driver, replacing it with a new and reliable one is the most effective solution. Here are the steps involved in substituting a faulty LED driver:

  1. Identify the driver specifications: To ensure compatibility and optimal performance, it’s crucial to identify the specifications of the existing driver, such as voltage, current rating, and dimming capabilities. This information can typically be found on the driver itself or in the product documentation.
  2. Source a suitable replacement driver: Consult with a reputable lighting supplier or manufacturer to find a compatible replacement driver. Provide them with the specifications you gathered in the previous step to ensure an exact match.
  3. Prepare for the replacement: Before replacing the driver, ensure the power to the lighting system is switched off. This step is crucial for safety reasons.
  4. Remove the faulty driver: Carefully disconnect the faulty driver from the wiring harness and remove it from the lighting fixture. Take note of the wiring connections or document them for reference during the installation of the new driver.
  5. Install the new driver: Connect the wiring of the new driver according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the notes or documentation you made during the removal process. Double-check the connections to ensure they are secure and accurate.
  6. Test the lighting system: Once the new driver is installed, restore power to the lighting system and verify that the LEDs are functioning correctly. Ensure there are no flickering lights, dimming issues, or abnormal behavior. If any issues persist, recheck the connections or consult with a professional electrician.


Maintaining optimal LED lighting system performance is crucial for residential and commercial applications. By recognizing the signs of failing LED drivers and promptly replacing them with suitable replacements, you can ensure the longevity and efficiency of your LED lighting installations. Remember to consult with professionals or experienced suppliers to ensure compatibility and adherence to safety guidelines. With proper LED lighting control and timely driver replacements, you can enjoy the benefits of reliable, energy-efficient, and visually pleasing lighting for years to come.

Benefits of Having a Home EV Charger

Investing in an electric vehicle paves the way for the future, although it introduces unfamiliar practices to those transitioning from traditional combustion engines. Among the challenges electric car owners face, ensuring a fully charged vehicle for the day ahead is paramount. While there are various methods to maximize mileage on a single charge, the ability to securely and safely charge your electric vehicle at home stands out as a significant advantage. Here are additional benefits of home EV chargers:

  1. Home EV Chargers Offer Convenience

Public electric vehicle charging stations are not as prevalent or easily accessible as traditional gas stations. This often requires careful route planning to locate these stations, which may further be inconvenient if they are unavailable or occupied by other electric vehicle users. However, by installing an EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) in your garage, you can effortlessly plug in your vehicle whenever needed and ensure readiness for the day in most situations.

  1. Home Electric Vehicle Chargers Give You More Control

Modern home car chargers are equipped with advanced technological features that allow you to customize and set specific charging schedules tailored to the requirements of your specific electric vehicle model. This level of control empowers you to optimize the charging process, resulting in prolonged battery life and increased mileage range.

  1. An EVSE Can Save You Money Over Time

Owning an electric vehicle entails several expenses, including the car’s purchase price, maintenance costs, and the consideration of installing a home EV charger. Additionally, charging your vehicle at a public charging station often incurs higher costs compared to charging at home. Fortunately, by taking advantage of overnight charging during off-peak hours, you can save money, bypassing the fluctuating and often expensive fuel prices at gas stations. Although the initial cost of installing an EVSE is higher, it proves to be a cost-effective and convenient solution in the long term, saving you money and eliminating potential inconveniences.

  1. Longer Battery Life with a Home Electric Car Charger

Similar to any other battery, the battery of your electric vehicle undergoes gradual wear and tear as time passes. Nevertheless, there are strategies that can be employed to prolong its lifespan. Public charging stations often offer “fast charge” options, which can be convenient in urgent situations, but relying on them extensively may expedite battery degradation. On the other hand, utilizing a home charging station allows you to configure the charging process to align with the manufacturer’s recommended speed and optimize the charging amount, ultimately leading to a longer-lasting battery.

  1. An EVSE at Home Can Boost Your Home’s Value

With the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles, potential homebuyers are likely to show a greater preference for homes equipped with an installed EVSE. Consequently, having an EVSE already in place can make your home more appealing and potentially command a higher selling price, as it eliminates the need for buyers to undertake the installation themselves.

  1. Be a Part of Lowering Emissions for the Earth

Undoubtedly, one of the notable benefits of having a home EV charger is the positive impact it has on our community and the environment. Each electric vehicle that replaces a gasoline-powered vehicle contributes to a reduction in CO2 emissions by approximately 1.5 million grams, which is roughly equivalent to the emissions produced by nearly four flights between Washington D.C., and Orlando, Florida. By embracing electric vehicles, you actively participate in creating a greener and more sustainable future for our planet and the community we inhabit.

For more information, you can check out our electric vehicle FAQs.

Dirty Laundry: Tips for Maintaining and Taking Care of Flame-Resistant Clothing

Arc blast and arc flash are among electrical workers’ most dangerous hazards. The intense heat generated by electrical arcs can momentarily surpass the sun’s temperature, and the resulting explosion can cause significant harm, such as emitting hot gases and molten debris. The extent of injuries, ranging from mild to severe, heavily depends on the protective clothing worn by the individual during the occurrence.


Proper Usage

Workers must utilize and maintain adequate flame-resistant (FR) attire. According to OSHA CFR 1910.269(l)(6), workers must be educated on the risks associated with electric arcs and the fires they can initiate. OSHA forbids workers from donning clothing that could exacerbate injuries in the presence of an arc, such as catching fire, persisting to burn, or melting onto the skin. Therefore, employees cannot wear clothing composed solely of or mixed with synthetic materials, including acetate, nylon, polyester, or rayon.

As per the OSHA eTool “Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – FR Clothing,” suitable FR clothing should be chosen carefully. Clothing that is made entirely of cotton or wool can be appropriate if its weight corresponds to the flame and electric arc conditions the worker might encounter. Although these materials do not liquefy under high heat levels, they can ignite and keep burning. The degree of heat required to initiate combustion in these materials depends on multiple factors such as the fabric’s weight, texture, weave, and color.

It is the responsibility of the employers to make sure that the clothing worn by the workers is suitable and appropriate for the conditions that they might encounter.


Cleaning FR Garments

Flame-resistant (FR) clothing is crucial for preventing severe injuries, but it must be maintained correctly to ensure that it provides adequate protection to the workers. Workers should be acquainted with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures.

If an industrial laundry service is used, washing all FR garments separately in soft water with a mineral content of fewer than 4.0 grains is essential. Hard water contains mineral salts that can harm the clothing’s integrity.

When it comes to cleaning solutions, nonionic formulas are typically the most effective for this type of clothing. Natural soaps and chlorine bleach should never be used. In cases where the clothing is heavily soiled with particles or abrasive dirt, it can be rinsed with water at a temperature of 105°F at the beginning of the cycle. This can help minimize abrasion in the wash wheel.

When drying FR clothing, it is vital to ensure that the dryer temperature does not exceed 280°F. Starch should not be used, and fabric softeners must be avoided as they can accumulate between fibers and become flammable. Garments that require pressing should be ironed at temperatures below 280°F.

In case a worker opts to clean their FR clothing at home, they should turn the garments inside out and wash each item separately using a regular or cotton cycle with water temperatures up to 140°F. Most home laundry detergents are acceptable for use, but avoid tallow soaps containing animal fats that can be flammable and accumulate between fibers. Using conditioned or soft water can aid in removing contaminants from FR clothing.

When the garments are heavily soiled, it is crucial to remove all dirt and other contaminants. Using stain-removal products or presoaking the garments is acceptable.

If the garments can’t be completely cleaned at home, they can be sent to the dry cleaner. Employers and employees must also follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dry cleaning. If FR clothing gets contaminated with flammable substances, it must be immediately removed and replaced with uncontaminated FR apparel. If the flammable material can’t be removed, the garments should be disposed of.


Repair and Maintenance

Lastly, two standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials International address the upkeep and repair of FR garments. These standards are Standard F 1449: “Guide for Industrial Laundering of Flame, Thermal, and Arc Resistant Clothing” and Standard F 2757: “Guide for Home Laundering Care and Maintenance of Flame, Thermal and Arc Resistant Clothing.” They offer guidelines for the proper care and maintenance of FR garments at home and in industrial laundering. It’s important for employers and employees to be familiar with these standards. The standards state that any repairs made to FR clothing should use materials that are equivalent to the original clothing materials.

If you would like more information on the importance of FR clothing and how to properly clean, care and maintain it, visit www.osha.gov.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are essential components of any electrical system as they help protect against electrical overload and short circuits. If you need to replace a worn-out circuit breaker or install a new one to accommodate increased power usage, it’s essential to ensure that you select the appropriate circuit breaker for your requirements.

Before purchasing a circuit breaker, it is important to consider several factors to ensure that it is suitable for your specific needs and that it will function safely and effectively. These factors include the current rating, voltage rating, type of circuit breaker, interrupting rating, brand and quality, size and compatibility, as well as price and warranty. Taking the time to carefully evaluate these factors will help ensure that you choose the right circuit breaker for your electrical system, which is crucial for maintaining safety and preventing damage to your equipment.

Here are some key things to consider before purchasing a circuit breaker:

  1. Current Rating:

The current rating is the amount of current that your circuit needs. You need to choose a circuit breaker with a current rating that matches or exceeds the current required by your circuit. Choosing a circuit breaker with a current rating that is too low can result in it tripping frequently, while selecting one with a higher current rating than necessary can be hazardous and increase the risk of electrical fires.

  1. Voltage Rating:

The voltage rating of a circuit breaker is the maximum voltage it can handle. Ensure that the circuit breaker’s voltage rating matches the voltage of the electrical system it uses. Using a circuit breaker with a voltage rating that is too low can damage the circuit breaker and equipment while using one with a voltage rating that is too high can be dangerous.

  1. Type of Circuit Breaker:

Various circuit breakers are designed for different applications, such as residential, commercial, or industrial. Choose the appropriate type of circuit breaker for your specific needs to ensure reliable and safe operation.

  1. Interrupting Rating:

The interrupting rating refers to the maximum amount of current that a circuit breaker can safely interrupt in the event of a short circuit or fault. Make sure that the interrupting rating of the circuit breaker is sufficient for your system to prevent the risk of electrical fires and damage to equipment.

  1. Brand and Quality:

Choose a reputable brand and ensure that the circuit breaker is of high quality to ensure reliable and safe operation. High-quality circuit breakers are less likely to fail or malfunction, which can prevent downtime and costly repairs.

  1. Size and Compatibility:

Consider the size and compatibility of the circuit breaker with your electrical panel or system. Ensure that the circuit breaker is the correct size and compatible with your system to prevent issues with installation or operation.

  1. Price and Warranty:

Compare prices and warranties of different circuit breakers to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. A more expensive circuit breaker may offer additional features or better quality, while a cheaper one may compromise on quality or safety. Ensure that the circuit breaker comes with a warranty to protect against defects and malfunctions.

Choosing the right circuit breaker is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of your electrical system. By considering factors such as current and voltage rating, type of circuit breaker, interrupting rating, brand and quality, size and compatibility, and price and warranty, you can make an informed decision when selecting a circuit breaker for your specific needs. Investing in a high-quality circuit breaker that is appropriate for your electrical system will help prevent damage to your equipment and avoid the risk of electrical fires or other hazards. It is important to take the time to research and evaluate these factors before purchasing to ensure that you select a circuit breaker that will provide long-term, reliable protection for your electrical system.



Info from Energize CT. website about lighting efficiency

An easy way to save energy and money

Did you know that energy-efficient lighting uses up to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lighting, yet provides the same amount of light? Switching to energy-saving ENERGY STAR-certified light bulbs and fixtures is a cost-effective way to save energy and reduce energy costs. You’ll enjoy the great light quality and the convenience of bulbs that last much longer than traditional bulbs.

Along with the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Energize Connecticut works with retailers and manufacturers to promote and discount ENERGY STAR certified lighting products. These products are designed to save you energy and money without sacrificing comfort and quality. And they last 10-50 times longer than traditional bulbs, so you can spend more time enjoying life and less time on the ladder changing bulbs.

To earn the ENERGY STAR label, a product must meet strict energy efficiency standards. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, created to promote energy-efficient products and energy-saving practices.


Today most home improvement stores, major grocery stores, lighting stores, large discount department stores, and warehouse stores, throughout Connecticut, carry a range of ENERGY STAR-certified light bulbs and fixtures. So finding the right energy-efficient lighting product for your home is easy. Just look for a “marked” lighting product when you shop.

Light Fixtures

You’ll find ENERGY STAR-certified fixtures at local retailers in an array of styles to fit your decor.

Light Bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs have come a long way since the first “twisty” compact fluorescent bulbs. Today you’ll find an energy-saving bulb for nearly every application in your home. When you shop for bulbs, think about the fixture it will go in, the light output and color you need, and the mood you want to achieve.
Most people prefer soft, warm light in bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and rooms with warm paint tones. In workspaces, garages, rooms with cooler paint tones, and outdoors, you may prefer cooler white light. ENERGY STAR certified bulbs are available in a range of tones – warm to cool white – and brightness levels. See the product packaging and the Lighting Facts Label for details.

CFL and LED Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting.
CFLs have been around for years and are smaller versions of full-sized fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets and provide the light that looks similar to incandescent bulbs. Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs use about one-quarter of the energy to produce the same amount of light, last 10 times longer, and produce 75 percent less heat, reducing cooling costs.

LEDs are the latest in energy-efficient technology. Most of us are familiar with LEDs from our electronics. We see them everywhere, telling us the equipment is on. Recent advances have made LED bulbs available for our homes. The bulbs – made with many small LED lights grouped in clusters – look similar to traditional incandescent light bulbs. LED technology is advancing rapidly, and many new bulb styles are available. Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs bring more value since they last longer. They use up to 80 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last 15 to 40 years. LEDs also provide excellent color quality, dimming capability, and turn on instantly. They are currently more expensive than other energy-efficient bulbs, but the cost is decreasing each year as the manufacturing technology continues to improve.

See more at: http://www.energizect.com/residents/programs/energy-star-lighting#sthash.zIa0CWkB.dpuf

Been burned in the past by a crooked Contractor? You may be eligible for up to $15,000 from the home improvement Guaranty Fund. Know your rights!

Home Improvement Guarantee Fund

The Department of Consumer Protection maintains the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund. This pool of money was created and is replenished from annual assessments of registered contractors, and can be used to help satisfy an unpaid judgment to a homeowner. A homeowner may be eligible for up to $15,000 from the Fund if he or she had hired a registered home improvement contractor and the resulting problem meets certain criteria.
Phone: (860) 713-6110
Link to more info on CT Home Improvement Guarantee Fund

More info from the CT Department of consumer protection website.

Tips for Protecting Yourself

The Department of Consumer Protection can not resolve every consumer dispute. We rely on you – the consumer – to help us in our mission. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Do Your Homework:  Before making a significant purchase or hiring a contractor.
  • Research the business you will be dealing with. Ask for references and then contact them. If you are hiring a home improvement or new home construction contractor, visit other job sites they have worked on, if possible.
  • Check that your contractor or licensed professional has an active license or registration. Don’t take their word for it. Even if they give you their license or registration number, you should make sure it is active.
  • Read your contract before you sign and know your rights. Check out our Consumer Fact Sheet: About Consumer Contracts in Connecticut for things to watch out for in everyday consumer contracts. Our Consumer and Publication pages have additional resources to help you protect yourself.
  • Try To Resolve Your Dispute Yourself:  Most Connecticut businesses are legitimate companies that want to be satisfied, repeat customers. If you have a problem with a business, call or write them a letter – explain the problem, show them the backup documents if you can, and ask for a fair resolution. If you can help yourself, that gives us more time to go after the companies engaged in patterns of fraud or abuse. Read on for tips and resources to help you resolve your dispute.
  • Alert Us To Problems:  Although we cannot solve every problem, we do want to hear about them. From your information, we learn when a business has a pattern of acting badly or a new scam is moving into the State. Where we see a pattern of bad conduct, the law provides us with tools to go after the business, or we can alert the public to protect others from being victimized. Click here to see if your complaint is one we have authority to deal with and, if appropriate, to file a complaint.

Licensed Electrical Contractor Hiring Checklist

Starting that new electrical project?

Here’s a good checklist that is helpful when looking for an electrician, or any other trade person.

Hiring a Contractor Checklist

Are you planning to remodel your home? This checklist will help you make sure you’ve done everything you need to do for your project. Check off each item when they’re complete.

  • Verify the licenses of all contractors and subcontractors on ct.gov.
  • Ask the contractor for references.
  • Request a list of subcontractors to be used.
  • Have the Contractor obtain the appropriate building permits.
  • See and understand any plans and blueprints before approving them.
  • Periodically check on the progress of the work.
  • Get lien releases from subcontractors and material supplies.
  • Keep copies of all documents and correspondence.