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Is Your Home Safe?
Many homes in Northeastern PA have hidden hazards that homeowners are not aware of. These can waste energy or even cause fire and insurance loss, so it's important to know when you're at risk. And then fix it, of course! See our list of common problems below, and if you see something familiar, contact us for help.
- Aluminum wiring - Used in older homes, aluminum wiring causes dangerous corrosion that can lead to a fire. We use only copper wiring to make sure your house is safe.
- Outlet hazards - Some electricians back-wire their outlets, but these can come loose or result in a bad connection. This leaves you at best with no power, at worst with a possible fire hazard. The Wire Guys never back-wire, but use only safe terminal screws.
- Dimmer switches - Properly sized switches are needed or they get too hot and make noise, malfunction, damage lights and trip circuits.
- Smoke detectors - Hard-wired detectors with battery backup are more reliable than typical battery-only alarms that rely on your memory for operation.
- Ceiling fans - Mounting with the right size box is important to keep this moving fixture safe. The wrong size box could allow the fan to fall down, damaging the ceiling, furniture and anyone below. A professional installation gives you a safer breeze!
- Power spikes & outages - Surge strips on individual equipment still let power problems into your home. Whole-house surge protection even better protects sensitive electronics and computer equipment when power spikes or lightning strikes. Automatic standby and portable generators bring your critical circuits back to life when the power goes out.
- Federal Pacific panels - Very common 20 years ago, Federal Pacific panels are still found in many homes—and can be dangerous. When overloaded, circuits don't trip and panels can overheat. Get yours replaced before problems happen.
- Do-it-yourself dangers - Most people will at some point attempt to save money by installing a light fixture, fan or dimmer switch. But what you might not know, is if there is an insurance loss and they discover you did the electrical work, most policies will not cover any of your loss. Electrical code changes every 3 years, so leave that up to the pros, and don't risk liability loss to save a few bucks now.
- Unlicensed/underinsured contractors - Pennsylvania requires that all contractors maintain current licenses with the state. Before you hire an electrician or any contractor, make sure they are reputable and get written proof of current insurance. The Attorney General's office allows you to search for or submit contractor complaints at http://hicsearch.attorneygeneral.gov/
- Retail subcontractors - Many large home supply stores you trust for year-round purchases, don't offer the same quality in their construction work. Find out who their subcontractor is, where they're from and how much training they have had. Many big box contractors charge additional delivery or other hidden fees you might not see in comparing initial cost. Don't settle for a jack-of-all-trades for electrical work, but only professional electricians.
- Counterfeit products - Counterfeit electrical parts and devices may look the same, but are not built to the same quality and safety standards. They don't offer the same protection from fire and shock that certified products do. Be sure to use only well-known name brand products and use only state-registered electricians with reputable parts vendors…or buyer beware.
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