The world of gadgets is expanding to include more innovative ways of powering our homes and electronics. These new outlet designs are fun, functional and energy saving. Could you see yourself installing any of these in your home? Take a look and see if they work for your needs!
Tab Power Strip
The Tab power strip allows you to choose how many outlets you need and keep them organized and labeled. Have a power strip behind your entertainment center with too many wires to count? Use this gadget to keep them all in order.
Rotating 360 Degree Sockets
If you’ve ever struggled to fit a plug into your power strip, this outlet accessory is for you. Twist each plug around the base to make each item fit perfectly.
Hang On Outlet
The Hang On outlet provides an extra lip to rest your plugs on when they’re not in use. This nifty outlet makes it easier to keep unnecessary electronics unplugged so you can save energy and money. Never scramble to find plugs again!
Stackable Surge Protector with Timer
Control the electricity around your home or office automatically! This outlet accessory has a built in timer with different plugs corresponding to different times of the day. Save energy by keeping the lights off, even if you’re not there.
Legrand Pop Out Triple Outlet
An outlet that retracts when not in use and pops out to provide three receptacles with a single touch. This chic outlet style is great for a kitchen or home office where more outlets are needed for gadgets or computer equipment.
When is the last time you checked your smoke detectors? The American Red Cross recommends testing your smoke detectors’ batteries once a month. 3,000 Americans die every year in residential fires because they aren’t warned in time to escape. Don’t be the next victim.
Want to learn more about home fire safety? Test your safety knowledge with this Red Cross quiz and take a look at their other online resources.
What should you do if someone you know gets shocked? Electrical shock can be frightening and is more common than you may think. Household outlets, light fixtures, and electric fences are just a few of the likely causes.
If someone you know gets shocked, contact 911 or other emergency number then check for these symptoms:
- Cardiac arrest
- Heart rhythm problems
- Respiratory failure
- Muscle pain and contractions
- Numbness and tingling
Follow these steps to ensure both their safety and your own:
- Before touching them, make sure they are no longer in contact with the object that shocked them. It could pass the current to you.
- Move the source away and/or turn it off if you can.
- Check to see if they are able to breathe. If not, begin CPR if you know how.
- To keep the victim from going into shock, lay them down with their legs elevated.
Keeping all of this in mind could save a life or prevent lasting injuries from an electric shock. Remember to stay safe and avoid possibly dangerous materials.
In the past few years, “going green” has become a growing trend. Everything from solar panels on the roof to hybrid cars has become popular to increase energy efficiency and protect our planet. Beyond extreme and sometimes expensive life changes, there are small things we can do to cut back on energy use and make our carbon footprint smaller. Look around your house and try some of these tricks to save money and energy.
If you haven’t yet looked into hybrid or electric cars, now is the time. With advances made everyday in the new technology, experts say there could be as many as 4.4 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020. Deciding which car is the best fit for you can be difficult. Here are three of the top green models available now and why they will appeal to you. And if you need a charging station installed -we are qualified to help you out!
1. 2012 Nissan Leaf
This new all-electric car has it all and boasts the most reasonable price of the new eco-friendly bunch. At only $26,684, this rechargeable vehicle can go 106 city and 92 highway miles. It features a nearly silent engine, but the savings in gas money are causing quite a noise in the industry.
2. 2013 Chevrolet Volt
The Volt is a bit pricey at $39,145 but it still has a lot to offer the eco conscious consumer. This hybrid can go up to 40 highway miles on one charge before switching over to its very efficient fuel engine. One tank can take this car up to 300 miles. The Volt offers some high tech options such as a video screen, but unfortunately has a small cabin that only seats 4.
3. 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
This model is all about style. While still retaining the benefits of a hybrid car, the Fusion also has the look of a luxury vehicle. At $27,200 with an estimated 47 mpg, this car is definitely one to beat.
When is the last time you got your electrical installations checked? Electrical work deteriorates with age and should be tested on a regular basis. Inspections are recommended to check for overloaded circuits, shock or fire risks, find any defective work, and a number of other safety concerns.
To stay safe, have an electrician test every:
- 10 years for a home
- 5 years for a rental property
- 3 years for an RV or mobile home
- 1 year for a swimming pool
- before selling a home/moving into a previously occupied home
Have a home or pool that needs an inspection? Call Mister Sparky and swim safely this summer!
This year’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week began with a jolt when lightning struck, sending 23 New Hampshire boy scouts to the hospital on Monday. Many had minor burns. Thankfully there were no major injuries but the summer months mark an increased risk for lightning related incidents. 2013 has seen seven lightning strike deaths so far, one of which happened here in Missouri.
In the spirit of the week, the National Weather Service has released a short video on lightning safety, particularly for those participating in outdoor activities. Golfers, fishermen, campers, and beach goers should all watch and stay safe!
Ten Facts about Lightning
Lightning has been appearing in the skies and in the news a lot recently, but how much do you know about it? Here are ten interesting facts about this dangerous phenomenon.
- 2013 has seen 7 lightning strike deaths, and over 50% of all lightning related deaths occur near water.
- Missouri ranks sixth in the nation for lightning strike deaths.
- Lightning bolts travel at up to 60,000 miles per second and can reach up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The popular phrase “lightning never strikes twice” is actually just an old wives tale. Lightning can strike a single spot multiple times.
- March of 1991 marked one of the most impressive and deadly storms to date. The storm spread through Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri and included over 15,000 individual lightning strikes.
- Do you suffer from keraunophobia? If you have an irrational fear of lightning, then maybe you do.
- In the course of 35 years, a Shenandoah National park ranger named Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times. He survived every strike and was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the person struck by lightning the most times in recorded history.
- Florida is the “lightning capital” of the United States. 10% of all human strikes occur in this state.
- On average, the Empire State Building is struck by lightning 24 times every year.
- On October 31, 2005 38 cows were killed on a farm near Dorrigo, New South Wales by a single bolt of lightning. Three other cows were paralyzed by the strike, but eventually recovered to full health.
Although it kills an average of 50 people every year, this deadly force produces some amazing sights. Take a look at this Time collection of lightning photography.
Wear your lifejacket, stay hydrated, use your boat lights after dark -these precautions are heavily suggested to lake visitors around this time every year. We want to remind all of our friends of the dangers that can occur from other hazards that may get overlooked. More specifically, dock electrical safety.
While this might not seem like a widely prevalent risk, just last year around the 4th of July at the Lake of the Ozarks there were 3 deaths that resulted from electrocutions on docks. To avoid tragedy, appropriate measures must be taken and it is imperative that the electricity powering your dock has been installed properly with a functioning GFCI outlet. Make sure to test these GFCIs -especially on your first lake trip for the season. Have a grounding rod installed for added safety. A grounding rod is connected to all of the metal on the dock and gives electricity a safe path to ground, should the dock get energized.
With more and more property owners tackling DIY projects, electrical work is something to be left to the pros. It is no secret that electricity and water are not a good mix. The separation is very thin on a powered dock so don’t even risk it. The Lake of the Ozarks require permits and inspections on all electric docks in addition to the dock permit issued by Ameren. More information on the permits can be found HERE.
Enjoy the summer and prevent any accident from occurring during vacation. Have your dock inspected by qualified, licensed electricians for complete peace of mind. At Mister Sparky, we strictly adhere to, and comply with, the local and national electrical codes as dictated by the National Electrical Code (NEC), which is published by the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 70).