It’s Time to Get the Holiday Lights Ready

Get Started with Christmas Decorations

Christmas is almost here again, meaning holiday decorations will start to come out. Holiday lights are one of the most important aspects of Christmas decorations, right up there with a Christmas tree, so homeowners may need some information to know which kind to buy and how to stay safe when using them. This article will outline finding the right lights for the house, being safe with electricity, and how to be eco-friendly this season with Christmas lights. 

Finding the Right Holiday Lights lights

There are many different kinds of lights to choose from when purchasing holiday lights. However, that can be overwhelming to some, and this article is here to help homeowners choose the best lights for them. The most well-known outdoor holiday light options are LED and incandescent lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED lights use up to 90% less energy than incandescent lights and can last 25 times as long.

Holiday lights also come in many different styles. There are mini-string lights, wide-angle lights, large bulb lights, animated, and icicle lights. Homeowners should consider both the type of light and the shape/style that they want and use those to determine the best lights for them. 

safety

Ensuring Electrical Safety 

The holidays are fun, but unfortunately, a few dangers come with this fun that every homeowner should be aware of. For instance, if certain lights are used on a Christmas tree, they can set the tree ablaze, causing the home to catch fire. If a homeowner is going to decorate their tree or the outside of their home with lights, they should make sure to turn them off before going to sleep. Also, placing a Christmas tree near a fireplace might look nice and homey, but these trees and fires don’t mix. 

While hanging holiday lights, never use a stapler or nails to punch through the wiring. This is because this contact with the object can cause an electrical shock or damage wiring, which can be a fire hazard. Homeowners should also be careful not to overload circuits because this can lead to a fire caused by overheating. And while decorating the outside of their homes with lights and holiday inflatables, homeowners should ensure that only decorations designed to be used outside are used. Being aware of the dangers of holiday lights is the first step to avoiding fires or outages this holiday season and keeping the family safe. 

‘Tis the Season for Eco-Friendly Holiday Lights 

It may be difficult for families to be eco-friendly during the holiday season, but there are plenty of ways to get started. Several holiday light options have a classic look while still offering eco-friendliness. LED lights are extremely popular and well-known when it comes to energy-efficient lights. Not only are they beneficial for the environment, but they last longer too. These lights also come in several color packages to satisfy homeowners during the holidays. 

Solar-powered lights are also another eco-friendly holiday light option for homeowners. The benefits of these solar-powered lights are that they are the best for the environment. They don’t need to plug into an electrical outlet to operate, which allows homeowners to save on their electric bills. Battery-operated lights are also an eco-friendly option when it comes to holiday lights. Homeowners will need to charge these battery-operated lights instead of plugging them into an outlet. 

About Modern Electrical Services

Modern Electrical Services has served Haverhill, MA, and the surrounding neighborhoods since 2016. They provide same-day service, straightforward pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for outdoor lighting and LED lighting services in Haverhill, MA.

How to Make Sure Your Halloween Decorations Are Safe This Year

3 Easy Ways to Avoid Electrical Hazards This Halloween!

As Halloween approaches, many homeowners are getting in the festive spirit by adorning their homes and yards with ghouls, ghosts, goblins, and all the things that go ‘bump’ in the night. Of course, today’s Halloween decorating trends have gone beyond the classics like spiderwebs and rubber bats into the more elaborate and extravagant territory – giant inflatable monsters, fog machines, string lights, and animatronic villains complete with diabolical laughter.

These decorations can make for a fun, frightful time for trick-or-treaters and adults alike, but they can also become real-life horrors if not properly set up. Every year in the U.S., holiday decorations spark hundreds of electrical fires that result in property damage, injuries, and even death. So to ensure this year’s Halloween decorations are the right kind of scary, here are three electrical safety tips every homeowner should know!

Check Electric Decorations for Issues Before Putting Them Up

inflatablesFirst up, before plugging in or putting up any electrical decorations, homeowners should inspect them for damage and wear. This is particularly important if the decorations have been in storage since last year, but it also goes for brand-new decorations right out of the box. Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of electrical fires and electric shock, so it pays to be extra vigilant.

Look out for cracked plugs, exposed wires, damaged wire insulation, corroded terminals, loose connections, and missing or broken bulbs. The same goes for extension cords, timers, or power strips homeowners plan on using. If they find any issues that can’t be fixed with a simple solution, such as replacing a missing bulb, homeowners should throw out the faulty decorations or damaged cords and buy new ones. The extra cost is well worth the family’s safety.

Have a Strategy for Where to Plug in Decorations

outletsNext, homeowners should plan where to run cords and plug in their decorations. Extension cords and power cables should be away from walkways, doorways, or anywhere else they can be crushed, twisted, pinched, or stepped on since this may damage the insulation. Instead of hanging lights using nails or staples, which can pierce the wiring and cause a fault, it’s best to use plastic clips or adhesives.

Homeowners should also avoid overloading outlets with too many decorations, as this can trip the circuit breaker and cause wires to overheat, which may result in a fire. This can be prevented by using multiple outlets, being mindful of amperage limits on timers and power strips, and not exceeding three sections of string lights in a row (or whatever the maximum limit is for that particular brand).

To prevent the risk of electric shock, homeowners should also ensure that outdoor decorations like Halloween inflatables, yard decorations, and lights are rated for outdoor use and only plugged into GFCI outlets. Most outdoor or garage outlets in modern homes require GFCI protection.

Use Surge Protection

Lastly, it’s a good idea to have surge protection to protect decorations. Whole-house surge protectors installed at the main electrical panel are the most effective, but most homeowners are probably more familiar with the smaller surge protectors that resemble power strips. Unlike power strips, surge protectors can help protect against electrical fires and damage to electronic devices.

Surge protectors work by sensing power surges (momentary spikes in voltage within a circuit) and sending the excess current into the home’s grounding wire and away from any electronics plugged into the surge protector (such as Halloween yard decorations). Suppose a power surge occurs on an unprotected circuit. In that case, any devices plugged into that circuit will bear the brunt of the surge, potentially being fried or even igniting an electrical fire.

Power surges can come from nearby lightning strikes, damage to power lines, restoration of power after a blackout, or even high-powered appliances like refrigerators or heating and cooling systems cycling on. So surge protectors are well worth the investment to safeguard against the unexpected this Halloween – and beyond!

About Modern Electrical Services

Founded in 2016, Modern Electrical Services has quickly become one of the highest-rated electrical contractors in Groveland. Their trustworthy electricians always arrive on time, provide friendly, professional service, and leave every home better than they found. They offer up-front pricing, financing, same-day service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so there’s no one better to call for whole-house surge protector services in Groveland, MA!

Choosing the Right Type of Outlets

Electrical Outlet Safety Features 

Homeowners probably use electrical outlets the most of all components in a home’s electrical system. With all the technology used in everyday life, people constantly charge devices to power their lives or have appliances plugged in. 

Certain hazards exist any time electricity is present. With modern technology and building codes, many of these hazards can be mitigated to the point that most people don’t even consider them anymore. However, homeowners should never be complacent about electrical safety in the home. 

Protect the home with electrical outlets with built-in safety features. Here are three of the most common outlet designs offering specific types of protection to prevent harm from errant electricity. 

AFCI Outlets 

A common hazard that electricity presents in the home is fire. Faulty electrical components cause a huge percentage of residential fires. AFCI outlets are the newest tool to help prevent electrical fires. AFCIs or Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters help stop one source of electrical fires in homes: electrical arcs. 

Electrical arcs form when there is high resistance within an electrical wire, whether that wire is part of a home’s wiring or part of an appliance. When wiring is damaged, electricity has trouble running through it, leading to a hot spot in the wire. The fire risk continues to rise as damage grows from the continued heating. AFCI outlets work by sensing the arc formed in damaged wiring and stopping the flow of electricity. With these devices, homeowners can help prevent one of the greatest causes of fires in a home. 

GFCI Outlets

outletAnother common hazard of electricity in the home is electrocution. Despite decades of education and advances in building codes, too many people don’t understand that electricity and water don’t mix. When electricity comes into contact with water, water becomes a conductor that can shock anyone that touches it. This used to be common outdoors and in rooms in the home that used water, like kitchens and bathrooms. 

To eliminate the threat of electrocution, GFCI outlets were invented and became part of electrical codes over 50 years ago. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are now standard outlets used in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and outdoor outlets. Within milliseconds, these devices stop the flow of electricity when they sense that water is being charged with electricity. 

Childproof Outlets 

outletAs parents know, children are notoriously curious. When they can crawl, they start investigating the world that, for adults, is below the knee. One of the things they are curious about is the electrical outlets that they see in every room. When they see adults plugging things into outlets, they may want to try the same, and the results can be extremely dangerous. 

Childproof outlets are the standard in many homes with young children today because they eliminate the serious threat of electrocution or burns for children. These handy devices automatically block outlets to prevent small objects from finding their way in. Nothing else can get into the outlet besides a plug. While this may sound inconvenient for adults, childproof outlets are user-friendly without compromising safety. 

About Modern Electrical Services

Modern Electrical Services is committed to the safety and peace of mind of its customers in Haverhill, MA, and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, same-day service, and the latest technology. Call them today for electrical outlet repair and replacement in Haverhill, MA

Back to School 101: Electricity in the Home

Learn the Basics of the Home’s Electrical System

Homeowners must know the basics of their home’s electrical functions. This allows them to maintain their systems, avoid problems, and keep residents safe. One doesn’t need a degree in electrical engineering to understand these things. They only need a few moments of their time to read the information outlined below.

The Electrical System’s Partselectric meter

The home’s electrical system is more than wires and outlets. These are some components of the home’s electrical system:

  • The electric meter: This device measures how much electricity the home uses. It’ll either show the reading using dials or a number digitally. It depends on how old the house is. The electric meter is generally located outside of the home on the side.
  • The disconnect switch: The disconnect switch allows homeowners to turn off their home’s power. They may do this when electricians make certain repairs, such as replacing an electrical outlet. This avoids any nasty burns or shocks while doing electrical work.
  • The breaker panel: The breaker panel is a big switch controlling how electricity travels to the home’s components. If one blows a fuse, they’ll generally fix it using the breaker panel.
  • Circuits: Electricity travels through the home using a series of circuits. These are usually inside the walls where homeowners can’t easily access them.
  • Electrical outlets: Nearly everyone knows what an electrical outlet is. This is where homeowners plug in their devices to power them on. Most outlets can last 15 to 25 years under ideal conditions.

 

Common Electrical Warning Signsburning smells

Now that one knows the basic parts of their home’s electrical system, they can learn how to spot issues. If one notices any of the following signs, they should consult an electrician immediately:

  • Burning smells: Electrical outlets should never smell when in use. They shouldn’t get intensely hot, either. This could mean the circuit board is melting or too much electricity is traveling through the system. One should avoid using an outlet if it smells because doing so could cause an electrical fire.
  • Flickering lights: Sometimes, a loose lightbulb could cause flickering lights—however, other underlying issues, such as loose connections or faulty wires, could also cause it.
  • Sparking outlets: Unplugging something while in use could cause a small spark. Most of the time, this is a harmless occurrence. However, if a spark “jumps,” causes burning smells, or causes excessive heat, this could point to a serious problem.

One shouldn’t attempt to fix issues with their electrical system themselves. Instead, they should turn to a trained professional who can identify the problem and safely render repairs.

Remember, Safety First!

The Electrical Safety Foundation International notes that there are 15,000 electrical fires each year. Many of these fires arise from DIY home repairs. Learning how to fix an electrical problem isn’t something one can learn on YouTube. It’s a task best left to a professional.

Here are some other things to know about electrical safety:

  • Avoid overloading outlets
  • Unplug appliances when not in use
  • Monitor the electrical meter for any unexpected increases
  • Keep electrical items away from water sources
  • Never run cords under rugs or blankets

 

About Modern Electrical Services

Modern Electrical Services has served the residents of Groveland, MA, and the surrounding areas since 2016. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day service, and the latest technology. Call them today for electrical services in Groveland, MA.

Creating an Electrifying Backyard This Summer Has Never Been Easier!

Upgrade Your Backyard for Summer Guests

As summer rolls around, homeowners will want to impress their guests. There are so many Summer holidays to celebrate and backyard barbeques to host, so why not make a few upgrades to the backyard?

4th of July celebrations and summer family cookouts are common during July. A few backyard upgrades can make the atmosphere inviting and more fun for guests. A few electrical upgrades can even inspire guests and family members to visit more often.

Review Lighting Options

Outdoor lighting makes all the difference during the summer, especially for homeowners that choose personalized designs. Landscape lighting, for example, is perfect for illuminating rare and beautiful plants, trees, shrubs, and decorations in the front yard and backyard. This allows homeowners to choose what aspects of their yard they want to spotlight. 

Another amazing lighting option for the outside is string lights or fairy lights. They are easy to find and sold in most big box stores. String lights are also easy to put up and change. They come in many colors and patterns and look great on a backyard patio. SMART lights are even better since homeowners can control them with a button on their phones.

Be Prepared with a Generator

generatorA generator is a good investment for homeowners that live in cities and states where severe weather or power outages are common. Although it may not be every year that a major weather event directly affects a home, homeowners can’t predict when something will happen.

Generators are great because they prevent food from spoiling during a power outage and allow homeowners to avoid the cost of replacing the wasted food. Generators are also an important safety net for those who rely on medical equipment. Access to hot water and electricity during an outage is impossible without a generator. Sometimes intense heat spells can also cause blackouts and power outages, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Install a Pool or Hot Tub

poolWhat makes a backyard party even better? The installation of a pool or hot tub! Pools and hot tubs add property value to a home since they are in-demand items that can cost buyers a lot. This investment is not only friendly to the property value but also something for the whole family to enjoy!

However, hot tubs and pools that use motors and lights ‌use electricity. Since this is the case, it is important to call a professional electrician knowledgeable about electric codes and regulations. If the wires and electrical work for a pool or hot tub are not correctly installed, it could cause a fire or power shortage.

Pools and hot tubs are a lot of fun, but homeowners need to maintain them. They are beautiful additions to a backyard but can cost extra money on each water and electric bill. Before calling for a hot tub installation, keep these facts in mind! Homeowners looking to enjoy their hot summer days and nights to the fullest should install hot tubs and pools for the BBQ season.

About Modern Electrical Services

Modern Electrical Services has provided the residents of Haverhill, MA, and the surrounding areas with quality customer service since 2016. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and on-time service. Call them today for electrical services in Haverhill, MA.

How to Prevent Power Surges

Protect the Home With a Whole House Surge Protector

This guide was created to help minimize the risk of power surges by stopping them before they can start! With the average American electronic producing anywhere between 100 to 140 volts when plugged in, anything over that can surely increase the risk that something may misfire inside the home’s walls. So, adding extra safety precautions before an outlet is triggered is the key to keeping homes and families safe.

surges

Why Are Power Surges Bad?

Power surges happen when an outlet, which usually runs at 120 volts, is hit with something much higher than its maximum load. This can be from too many devices plugged into a single outlet or plugging in an electronic like a dryer into an outlet that wasn’t designed to handle that much power. Power surges can also occur due to lightning storms or issues with the electrical grid.

Once the outlet is overloaded, many things can happen. The rubber coating around the wires can begin to melt, and sparks can shoot into the wall from the outlet or art fire. Breakers can stop a lot of overloading from happening, but they aren’t foolproof. 

Protect Against Power Surges

Because of these serious dangers, professionals suggest taking extra precautions such as only plugging in what is absolutely needed and never using a surge protector to plug multiple devices into one outlet at once. Or, install a whole-home surge protector to minimize the risk virtually entirely! 

This high-tech device secures itself to the breaker box, protecting the home from any unwanted surges of voltage. This is an upgrade from the outlet surge protectors as it constantly monitors for surges without running the risk of shorting out. Because a whole-home surge protector is connected to the breaker box, it also covers all the home electronics and appliances instead of only what is plugged into a single outlet like an outlet surge protector.

Replacing an Old Surge Protectorprotector

For the added safety measure, outlet surge protectors can still be used with a whole home version, but they have a much shorter life span than the whole home version. Outlet surge protectors only last for around two to five years, depending on their size and the frequency of use. Surge protectors constantly pushing voltage to three or four more electronics can wear out much quicker than those with only one or two.

If unsure whether a surge protector needs to be replaced, there are some tell-tale signs:

  • The air around the surge protector smells of burning plastic
  • The surge protector is warm to the touch
  • Electronics are gaining and losing power while constantly plugged in
  • A buzzing sound is coming from the protector 
  • The protector has been around for longer than five years

 

About Modern Electrical Services

Since 2016, Modern Electrical Services has served its neighbors in Groveland, MA, and the surrounding areas with honesty, integrity, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day service, and the latest technology. Call them today for whole house surge protector services in Groveland, MA.

Electrical Safety Tips to Keep the Summer Safe

Make May “Electrical Safety Month”

During the summer, homeowners become acutely aware of the power consumption in their homes. Once families kick on the AC and the bills spike, everyone starts paying attention. That makes now a good time to discuss electrical safety. Here are some tips for families to keep the home safe over the summer. 

Remember to Stop Overloading Outletsoutlets

One of the biggest problems that can arise in the electrical system is the result of overloaded outlets. In extreme cases, overloaded outlets can overheat to the point they ignite and start an electrical fire. In most cases, the outlet wears out faster, trips breakers, and damage electronics. 

Overloaded outlets are more common than ever since so many more electrical devices are available now. Too often, people use outlet splitters to add chargers, computers, and lamps to one outlet. These devices cause the outlet to use more power than it was designed to. To prevent problems resulting from overloaded outlets:

  • Split loads up between different outlets
  • Use power strips with overload protection
  • Don’t turn on too many devices pulling power from one outlet – i.e., running a fan, a lamp, and a computer on one outlet.

wattages

Get Familiar with Correct Wattage

For homeowners that aren’t familiar with the term “wattage,” there is no need to be ashamed. “Wattage” is a common term in the electrical field that communicates the power needs for a certain fixture or appliance. The easiest and most familiar way to understand wattage is by looking at light bulbs. This method has become harder to understand with LED lighting since they use far fewer watts than incandescent bulbs, but the principles are the same. 

Light bulbs that are brighter need to consume more power than dimmer bulbs. The power consumption of both light bulbs will be measured in watts, but the brighter bulb’s wattage will be higher. This is especially important when it comes to replacing light bulbs. Light fixtures are rated to handle a certain wattage. 

The wattage is usually etched into the light fixture or written on a sticker. Light bulbs with lower wattages than listed can be used. Higher wattages risk overheating the fixture and causing a fire, especially when using incandescent bulbs since they also produce more heat. 

Leave Electrical Work to the Professionals 

Most people aren’t so bold as to decide to work on the electrical system in their own house. However, some plucky homeowner always wants to save a buck and doesn’t mind risking their home in the process. In reality, it’s always better to hire a licensed electrician to do the work. Some of the reasons professional electricians are necessary are:

  • Electricians have years of training so they can understand complex electrical problems
  • Electricians can more safely complete their work because they know it better
  • Homeowners can void their insurance by making their own electrical repairs
  • Electricians carry special insurance that protects homeowners in the event of extra damage 

In the long run, hiring a professional is always the safest bet. Peace of mind is too valuable to put a price on. 

About Modern Electrical Services

Modern Electrical Services has provided its neighbors in Haverhill and Essex County, MA, with quality service and personalized solutions since 2016. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, on-time service, and 24-hour live answers. Call them today for electrical services in Groveland, MA.

Three Signs It Is Time For An Electrical Panel Repair

How To Tell If An Electrical Panel Needs Help

Since electrical problems in a home are infrequent, the electrical panel is often forgotten until the electricity is completely powered off. Homeowners shouldn’t wait until the last moment. Homeowners and residents need to know the signs that an electrical panel is not working properly. Once these signs are noted, the repairs and maintenance can begin before the damage worsens.

Flickering Lights

Lightbulbs wear down over time, and they do not last forever. When the light flickers, it can indicate that the lightbulb needs to be replaced or screwed in tighter. However, flickering lights could also signify that the electrical panel no longer works and needs to be replaced or repaired.

Flickering or dimming lights could result from something faulty in the electrical panel that sends the wrong signal and message to the light. Additionally, homeowners should pay attention to flickering lights when other appliances are powered on, as this could indicate wiring or power issues.

If homeowners notice this electrical quirk in their home, they should immediately call their local electrician so the problem doesn’t worsen over time, causing additional problems.

burning smell

Burning Odors

It is terrifying to smell burning or smoke in a house. If this occurs and a homeowner cannot figure out what is causing the smell, it could be from the electricity and the electrical panel. The scent is often said to smell like burning plastic.

Sometimes, when the electrical panel is not hooked up properly or is fried, it can cause a spark. This is dangerous because the spark can cause a fire that spreads to the rest of the home. Homeowners should take note of strange smells and look around for any smoke as well.

A burning smell can also indicate that the electrical panel or an outlet is overloaded and overheating. Electrical fires are very dangerous and can quickly spread to destroy a home.

 

Old Electrical Panelsold electrical panel

Electrical panels do not last forever. The average age of an old electrical panel is 25-40 years old. This depends on the exact brand, so it is important to talk to an electric panel expert who knows about the many models.

Homeowners can tell that their electrical panel is old by the outer appearance and the functionality. For example, if some of the switches on the electrical panel are not working properly, it could be a sign that it is time to schedule an electrical panel replacement.

Also, if there are burn marks or rust throughout the electrical panel, this shows age and signifies it’s time to replace it. Rust can interfere with the inside of the electrical panel, which is dangerous and can result in a random power outage.

About Modern Electrical Services

Modern Electrical Services is proud to provide the residents of Haverhill and Essex County, MA, with customized solutions for all their electrical issues. They offer straightforward pricing, same-day service, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for electrical services in Groveland, MA.