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An Electrifying Truth

Five Warning Signs Of Electrical Disaster

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Many people never even think of the electrical panel in their home, but without regular maintenance, this critical piece of the lifeblood of your home could all too easily cause financial ruin, or worse.

Bickimer Electric is committed to ensuring our valued customers have the information they need to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. This article from our service experts lays out five warning signs in your home’s electrical panel, and what you can do to prevent it.

1. Breakers That Constantly Trip

Annoying as it may be, breakers which regularly trip can be a vital warning sign that there is a weakness in your electrical panel. As breakers are exposed to the constant surges in our Kansas electrical grid, the heat generated begins to wear them down.

Importantly, every time a breaker trips, there is a period of around 20 milliseconds during which the breaker absorbs the entire current running through the circuit. Each trip causes extensive damage to the electromagnet that triggers the breaker and reduces the load it can bear before tripping again. It’s recommended that breakers be replaced every 3-5 trips to avoid failure.  

2. Scorching or Burning Around The Breakers

As the connections around the breaker begin to loosen over time, enough separation can cause electricity to arc between the breaker and the connection; this causes blackening from oxidation around the contact points, screws, and around the plastic casing. Loose or burned connections can cause a breaker to fail, allowing unrestricted current to travel through a circuit and burn out the cabling and all attached devices.

3. Flickering Televisions and Lights

Uneven distribution of power through a panel or repeated surging can cause attached televisions, monitors, and lights to flicker. Flickering can be an excellent early warning sign of severe weakening in your electrical panel.

4. Overheated Metal or Burning Plastic Smells

As electricity is passed through wires, it generates heat. The excess current and temperature in proper wiring are carried away by the ground wire, but surges generate far more heat than can be handled, and this translates to scorching. The melting plastic and overheated wiring produce very distinctive odors that should immediately be inspected by a qualified and licensed professional.

5. Federal Pacific Panels

Between the 1950s and 1980s, millions of electrical panels produced by the Federal Pacific Electrical Company were installed in homes across the nation. Decades after their installation, it was discovered that Federal Pacific falsified their testing data when seeking certification under the National Electrical Code.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a testing report which showed a shockingly high rate of failure in Federal Pacific panels.

Consumer Safety Outdated Panel Report
A Consumer Safety Institute report on outdated electrical panels and safety
Consumer Safety Report - FPE Safety
A Consumer Safety Institute report on Federal Pacific Panel Safety Testing

Consequently, all Federal Pacific panels were delisted, decertified, and are recommended for replacement and destruction by all governmental and independent safety and regulatory bodies. If you have or suspect that you have a Federal Pacific panel or breakers in your home, have them inspected by a qualified and licensed service expert.

The Bickimer Difference

Through our decades of experience in the service industry, we at Bickimer Electric understand that electrical panel safety is key to preventing disastrously expensive and potentially fatal hazards in the home. That’s why we are proud to offer a 50% discount on our electrical panel safety inspections.

To take advantage of this outstanding time-limited offer, give our friendly office team a call at 913-313-6751, or book online using our handy Contact and Book Now buttons.

We are your number one Kansas City electrician, serving Kansas City KS and Kansas City MO, Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, Lansing, Leavenworth, Leawood, Louisburg, Prairie Village, Merriam, Mission, Spring Hill, Bonner Springs, De Soto, Gardner, Fairway, Mission Hills, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Parkville, Liberty, Kearney, Excelsior Springs, Pleasant Hill, Raytown, Gladstone, Belton, Raymore, Peculiar, Wyandotte County, Johnson County, and Jackson County

Electrical Safety

What Are Four Risks With Electricity?

According to the research at NFPA, there are four significant risks when dealing with electricity:  fire, direct property damage, injury, and death.  Faulty Electrical Distribution and Lighting Equipment are the number one cause of direct property damage to your home (20%).  Faulty electrical systems where tided for third place at causing either structural fires (10%) & personal injury (10%).  Note that house fires caused by various electrical issues and fireplaces where more likely to spread beyond the room of origin!  Lastly, defective electrical systems were the fourth leading cause of death (19%)!  That means an average of 50,500 such fires caused 500 deaths, 1,390 injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage per year. So it’s essential to get an electrician who knows what they’re doing. 

What Do Faulty Electricity Distribution & Lighting Equipment or Electrical Systems mean?

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment include installed wiring, outlets, switches, cords, plugs, power supplies, and lighting. 

  • It could mean your circuit breaker is old or overloaded. 
  • It could mean that you have overheating exposed, frayed, or pinched wiring from age or rodents.
  • It could be that your outlets are hot & not grounded, near water, or overloaded.  
  • It could be that your electrical system is unsafe due to being outdated because electrical codes are updated every three years by the National Electric Code (NEC). 

Whatever the cause of your faulty electrical system, the biggest concern at Bickimer Electric is Electrical Safety.

Which Room Of Yur House Is Most Likely To Catch Fire Due To Faulty Electrical Systems?

The most common location in your home to have a fire started by the electrical distribution or lighting equipment is first in your Bedroom (32%) then second in your Living Room (24%), and much lower on the scale is the Kitchen (1%).  Actually, faulty kitchen appliances account for the number one cause of Kitchen fires.  Add in the age of your home since the older the structure the less fire-resistant the building materials are as well.  Once again, you have reasons why it is vital to have an electrician who knows what problems most often affect homes.  

What Electrical Safety Services Are Available At Bickimer Electric?

Let our skilled electricians here at Bickimer Electric help make sure your home or business is as safe as it can be.  Our expert electricians can help you with childproofing outlets, whole house surge protectors, wiring upgrades, and electrical safety inspections, just to name a few. Check at our additional services below, for your home and business!

Child Proof Outlets

Because there is no such thing as constant, uninterrupted adult supervision, childproof outlets protect your children and guests, preventing injuries and liability. Also called tamper-proof receptacles, these electrical outlets are so effective that as of 2008 the National Electrical Code (NEC) has required their installation in all new homes.

Circuit Breaker Replacement

Sufficient electrical capacity is necessary for the proper function of electrical appliances or devices on a circuit without tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. In some cases, circuit breaker replacement may remedy overload issues without the need for an electrical panel upgrade, effectively handling electrical needs and preventing electrical fires.

Dedicated Circuits

For Computers or space heaters.  Chances are your company can’t function without computers. To avoid tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses, Bickimer Electric can install a circuit breaker that only controls your computer systems. That means that other office electrical appliances can’t take down computers when switched on. Likewise, space heaters or any heat-generating appliances should never be run on extension cords.  However, because they require so much energy, adding a dedicated circuit will prevent system overloads and fires. 

Electrical Code Updates

Electrical codes are updated every three years by the National Electric Code (NEC), the national standard for safe electrical installation, to protect people and property from electrical hazards. Is your home up to the current 2020 NEC standards?

Whole-Home or Business Electrical Safety Inspection Services

Electrical issues are the largest cause of property damage in house fires across the U.S. To identify and address electrical safety issues, a thorough and professional electrical safety inspection is needed. Schedule a whole-home or business electrical safety inspection today with Bickimer Electric for a detailed, prioritized checklist of recommendations for your home.

Panel Safety Inspection Services

A licensed electrician will inspect the Panel and Meter Can removing the cover to make sure service has ground and supplemental ground and document vital information to keep your electrical system operating without hazard.  If you would like to learn more, then call Bickimer Electric today.  *DISCOUNT!!! NEW CUSTOMERS can take advantage of 50% OFF the price of a PANEL SAFETY INSPECTION.

GFCI Outlet Installation and Replacement

GFCI outlets are used in areas like the kitchen, bathroom, or garage where the risk of electrical shock is higher than in any other area of your home.  GFCI outlets can be identified by the “test” and “reset” buttons located on the receptacle. These outlets help protect you from electrical hazards by monitoring the amount of electricity flowing in a circuit and tripping the circuit if an imbalance is detected. Once detected, the outlet stops the flow of electricity.

Whole House Surge Protector Installation

Power surges can happen in a flash, resulting from a variety of causes and ruining your expensive electronics. Protect the technology in your home from damage with the help of a whole house surge protector.

Wiring Updates

Old, outdated wiring not only poses a safety hazard in your home, but it is also keeping you from the full range of functionality from your devices you could be enjoying.  Prevent a dangerous electrical fire and quit worrying about unplugging a device so you can plug in another – update your wiring with Bickimer Electric.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The lack of operational smoke detectors can allow otherwise small fires to get out of control.  Put smoke detectors on all floors of your house and change the batteries regularly.

So Prepare and Prevent. Do not Repair and Repent. Call Bickimer Electric Today to Help with your Business and Home Electrical Safety