April 2014

Replace These 3 Items for a Safer Cincinnati Home

breaker-box-cincinnatiYou don’t only want a home with electronics that work properly, but you also want a home that is safe from electrical hazards. Our electrician team at Herrmann Services believes there are several devices in your home you should consider replacing if you are concerned with the safety of your home and family.

GFCI Plugs

GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) are a safety feature that cuts off the electricity immediately when it senses an imbalance in the flow of electricity. Its job is to detect when current is flowing along an unintended path. That could be water or even a person. It is used to reduce the risk of electric shock. GFCIs are required by code on outdoor outlets, or any outlet near a source of water. If you have not updated your outlets in a while, it’s a good idea to talk to your electrician about installing these in your kitchen, bathrooms and outdoors.  You might also want to ask your electrician to perform a home safety inspection of your electrical outlets. Make sure to test them monthly. Press the TEST button, then RESET button every month to assure proper operation. If the indicator light does not go out and come back on or if the GFCI cannot be reset, it must be replaced.

Smoke Detectors

Is your smoke detector beeping constantly, or can you even remember the last time you replaced it? It might be time for a new one. The United States Fire Administration recommends replacing your smoke detector unit every 8-10 years. Whether hard-wired or battery operated, after ten years, smoke alarms may malfunction and cause a serious health hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly two thirds of fire related deaths occur due to smoke detectors that either malfunctioned, were missing batteries, or were disconnected.  Always take note of when you last replaced your smoke detector, whether that be writing the date in permanent marker on the inside of the detector, or storing the date in a file.

Electrical Circuit Breaker Panels

An electrical circuit breaker panel is like the command center for all of the electricity in your home. It is where you can manually turn off power to an individual circuit, or the entire house. That means there is a lot of electricity flowing to and from this piece of equipment in your home, hence it can be very dangerous if it isn’t working properly. Older panels are more likely to malfunction and put your home at risk. If your panel is more than 40 years old, we recommend replacing it. If it is more than 20 years old, you should have an electrician perform a safety inspection on it. If your home has a Federal Pacific Electric panel or a Zinsco panel, we also recommend replacing those. They are known to have manufacturing flaws that are dangerous.

Want to ensure that your home’s electrical items are operating properly? Call Herrmann Services for a safety inspection, electrical repair or replacement, at 513-737-8423.