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Things You Should Teach Your Children About Electrical Safety

As a parent, you know how much kids like to explore the world around them. That curiosity and sense of adventure can go from cute to dangerous in an instant. Learning safety around electricity is more important today than ever. Let's cover some lessons you can pass on to younger family members to keep them safe.

Proper Use of Electrical Outlets

For many children, outlets are the first source of trouble with electricity. Toddlers will often try to stick their fingers or foreign objects into receptacles. The sooner they understand that only plugs go into outlets, the better.

You should also teach your children to gently unplug items to prevent damage to electronics, prongs on the plug, or the outlet itself.

Electricity and Water Never Mix

Another dangerous scenario for younger family members is handling electricity near a water source. Teach them that pouring liquids on cords, devices, and outlets is a big no-no. They should also learn that electrical cords, household appliances, and dad's favorite radio in the garage should never be thrown into the bathtub, pool, or sink.

Don't Use Damaged Cords or Devices

Teach your infant not to chew on cords to prevent accidental shocks. Kids should also understand that damaged sleeves on cords or bent prongs on plugs are unusable.

Avoid Overloading Extension Cords or Power Strips

An overloaded circuit can create excessive heat leading to overheated devices, damaged wires, and possibly an electrical fire. Children must learn to avoid plugging too many devices into an extension cord or power strip.

Transformer Boxes Aren't Play Areas

Kids love to find things to aid in playtime around the house, including in the yard. Underground pad transformer boxes attract children as a playing surface.

Place safety stickers on these boxes if they have none and teach younger family members to identify them. Help children discover alternative playing surfaces for their games.

Avoid Power Lines

As your children grow, so will their reach. They must learn that power lines are dangerous and not be touched, including throwing items at the power lines to make contact indirectly. It's also important to teach them that downed power lines should be avoided at all costs.

Stay Away From Electrical Properties

Your child should know how to respect boundaries around dams, electrical substations, and other dangerous electrical structures. That includes instances where they want to retrieve personal items that went over a fence. Teach them that it's better to ask for help rather than trying to retrieve the item themselves.

Providing Safety and Service

Electrical safety is our priority, but we offer other assistance as well. We provide commercial and residential electrical services, including installations, lighting, repairs, and safety. Florida residents know and trust Mr. Electric, so contact us today for electrical safety or other needs in Lutz, Tampa and the surrounding area.

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Wiring Upgrades that Enhance Your Home’s Value

Electrical systems play a key role in your home's structure and function. They provide power to every room in your house. The wiring consists of special wires and cables to carry electricity from the main service panel to all the circuits and outlets throughout your home. Wiring upgrades allow you to add services or reconfigure your current system to serve new needs.

1. Lighting

Modern lighting solutions offer a wide range of design options and control features. They allow you to transform the way your home looks and functions. You can install special lights that use sensors to shut off when no one is in a room. This minimizes energy usage while still providing ample light where you need it. You can also replace ordinary lighting with options that incorporate color-changing features. Add integrated wall switches and dimmers to control the lighting from anywhere in your home. A reputable electrician can help you select the right solution for your needs and budget.

2. Home Automation

Home automation systems are becoming standard fixtures in modern homes. The systems have a central control panel and integrated devices with wireless connectivity. They can operate various functions throughout your home and even control your heating and cooling systems. You can set your system to automatically turn on or off lights, sound alarms, or operate special entertainment features. The wiring upgrades necessary for home automation depend on the features you choose.

3. Restructuring

In older homes, the electrical system may no longer be adequate for your needs. You might need to add lines, switches, and sockets to accommodate your current needs or expansion plans. An electrician will determine your needs after examining the house and studying your electrical usage. They can then recommend solutions that provide ample power without posing a fire hazard or creating an unsightly mess of wires and cables throughout the home. Consider installing two or more circuits to handle peak needs if your family is large. This allows the house to operate smoothly even when one circuit is overloaded.

4. Security Alarm Monitoring System

Security alarm systems make it easy to monitor your home's security systems from anywhere with cellular connectivity. They allow you to receive text messages with customized alerts about unusual activity or tampering. The devices provide remote access with a smartphone, tablet, or PC. The home's control panel may require upgrades and additional lines to ensure the system works effectively.

5. Media Hookup

The right media hook-up lets you add features like DVD and Blu-ray players or other audio/visual sources like cable or satellite receivers. You can also add the latest generation of high-definition televisions to your home. Other special features such as surround sound, multi-room audio, and connectivity to the Internet make it easy to enjoy music, movies, and games. They require specific wiring to ensure the devices and systems work properly. A professional electrician can install the proper wiring. They will ensure it meets building codes, provides adequate power, and supports future needs.

If you're thinking about wiring upgrades, call Mr. Electric in Tampa, FL if you need a new electrical panel or any other electrical services. We do upgrades in compliance with electrical codes. We'd be happy to provide a no-obligation estimate on all your remodeling needs.

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Unleash Your Home’s Protection With a Whole-Home Surge Protector

A whole-home surge protector is an essential device that protects your electronic appliances from power surges and voltage spikes. A power surge can cause severe damage to your expensive electronic devices, making it important to have a surge protector installed in your home. Here, we will discuss the signs that you need a whole-home surge protector and how it can help protect your valuable electronic devices from potential damage.

1. Flickering Lights

This is a common sign that your home is experiencing electrical surges. It could mean that your home is not properly protected from voltage spikes, which can cause damage to your electrical system, appliances, and electrical devices. A whole-home surge protector can help prevent this by diverting the excess voltage to the ground and protecting your electrical equipment. It is important to have a surge protector installed in your home to avoid costly repairs and ensure the safety of your electrical system. This is especially important during inclement weather events such as lightning storms.

2. Damaged Electrical Appliances

A whole-home surge protector helps protect your appliances from electrical surges, which can cause permanent damage to your electronics. Surges can cause your appliances to stop working altogether or lead to problems such as malfunctioning buttons, blown fuses, or incorrect readings. This can result in costly repairs or the need to replace the appliance. Protecting your appliances with a whole-home surge protector can save you money in the long run and prevent the frustration of replacing them.

3. Tripped Circuit Breakers

Tripped circuit breakers indicate excessive electrical current flowing through the circuit. A tripped circuit breaker can result from a power surge caused by lightning, grid fluctuations, or other sources. Installing a whole-home surge protector can help prevent tripped circuit breakers. It's important to address this issue promptly, as tripped circuit breakers can lead to more serious electrical problems.

4. Sparking Outlets

Sparking outlets occur when a surge of electrical energy overloads the outlet, causing the electrical current to jump from the outlet to the surrounding area. This can cause damage to your electrical devices and appliances, as well as pose a fire hazard to your home. A whole-home surge protector will prevent these surges from reaching your electrical devices, providing safety and peace of mind for your home and family.

A whole-home surge protector protects your appliances and electronics from power surges. If you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned, it's time to consider getting one installed. Contact Mr. Electric in Tampa, FL today and safeguard your home from power surges.

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6 Warning Signs of Dangerously Outdated Electrical Wiring

Electrical malfunction or failure can result in home fires that lead to property damage, severe injuries, or even death. Outdated electrical wiring is a significant contributor to such electrical failures. So how do you avoid your household being a victim? You must be alert to spot the warning signs indicating you have outdated electrical wiring. Here are six warning signs that you have outdated electrical wiring in your home.

1. Circuit Breaker Trips

It is common for your circuit breaker to trip whenever it's overloaded. A circuit breaker is designed to shut off your power from the circuit during an overload. However, when tripping is frequent, it is a sure sign there's a potentially dangerous issue with your home's wiring.

When your circuit breaker trips many times within a month, it could mean outdated electrical wiring or a wiring failure. If your home's wiring is outdated, schedule an upgrade to avoid dangerous issues.

2. Frayed Wiring

Wires fray or crack for various reasons, and aging is one of them. Outdated wires fray easily, becoming a fire and shock hazard. Such damaged wiring is dangerous and can result in electrical damage or injuries. In such instances, seek the services of a licensed electrician to inspect your home for frayed wires and replace them.

3. Burning and Odd Odors

Outdated wiring may produce a burning odor immediately after you turn on your home's switches. You may also smell burning from outlets or your electrical panel. Burning wires are a serious issue that must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid electrical fires.

4. Dimming or Flickering Lights

When your light fixtures start to dim or flicker, it is usually due to power-hungry appliances on the same circuit. If your lights dim whenever you use any electrical device, however, there's likely an issue with your home's electrical system. You may require a wiring upgrade to handle the energy consumed in your home.

5. Scorched Switches or Outlets

The outlets of your switches can help you identify a problem in your wiring. When these outlets start heating up, you know there's a problem somewhere. Also, when your switch feels hot to the touch, it indicates an issue with your wiring.

Scorched switches are a sign of an overload in your electrical system, which could be a result of outdated wiring. Such inspections will help you determine whether your home needs an electrical upgrade.

6. Buzzing Outlets

If you're greeted with a buzzing spark when you plug something into an outlet, unplug the device and call an electrician as soon as possible. Buzzing outlets are not normal, and they pose a threat to your property and safety. An electrician can find the cause of the issue and provide a quick fix.

Outdated electrical wiring can be costly in terms of the damage it can cause. Therefore, hiring an expert for an electrical upgrade is the way to go. Contact us at Mr. Electric for unmatched residential and commercial electrical services in Tampa, FL, including lighting installations and home wiring upgrades.

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At What Intervals Should an Electrical System Inspection be Performed?

Electrical inspection mainly depends on your electricity usage and home age. The number of appliances in a home can determine the intervals at which you call an electrician. However, most electricians recommend an inspection about three to five years from the installation or the previous inspection. How often should you have an electrical system inspection done for your home? Read on to find out more.

Common Circumstance for an Inspection

The following are the intervals that call for electrical inspection:

  1. When you just bought a new house, you should schedule an electrical inspection to ensure your family members are safe.
  2. If you returned to an empty home after several years, you first need to determine if the electrical system is working correctly.
  3. If you suspect an interference with the system, it may be time to schedule a professional inspection.
  4. If the power supply department recently had an upgrade or maintenance on the electrical lines, it may affect your system. Don’t live in fear of fire blowing up or an outage; speak to a credible electrician for an inspection.
  5. You may need to review the electrical system when you want to add extra appliances and aren’t sure of compatibility with your power sources.
  6. If there has been natural damage in your area, this could affect the power system in your household. This is the right time to call for an inspection to determine if there are faulty sockets.

Signs That Show It Is Time for an Electric Inspection

The longer your electrical system has served, the more likely it is to fail to support various electrical appliances. Start scheduling an inspection if you feel the system needs repair or maintenance. The following signs will dictate your decision to call an electrician for a review:

  1. If you notice a strange electrical circuit noise, it could result from loose connections or poor wiring. Call for a qualified electrician to review the entire system.
  2. Circuit breakers protect your electric appliances from damage. When the load is heavy, they may blow or trip. You may need to schedule an electrical inspection if you notice frequent tripping when connecting a device to a particular outlet.
  3. Some appliances, such as water heaters, draw more power than others. You may notice flickering whenever you connect them, which shows a fault in the connection. Only an expert will find the cause of the flickering after inspection.
  4. You may notice that some switches and outlets are not working when you turn them on. Poor wiring or a faulty connection may cause this. Find an electrician to inspect them and advise about the repairs or replacement.
  5. When you have extra appliances that require more power, you may want to call for an electrical inspection to determine the type of socket to use. Places like the kitchen and bathrooms require different kinds of sockets from the other areas.
  6. Faulty connections and outlets produce a strange smell whenever you connect appliances or turn on the lights. This is dangerous for your home and requires you to switch off the power outlet and perform an immediate inspection.
  7. It would help if you kept checking the temperature of the sockets to find out if any appliance is causing excess heat on the socket when connected. You may also notice that an outlet produces heat without any connected device. This shows a poor wiring connection, and you should immediately call an electrician.

When you notice all or some of the above signs, it shows that you need to schedule an electrical inspection. Our electricians will perform safe inspection that guarantees safety, so contact Mr. Electric in Tampa, FL, to schedule an appointment with our experts.

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Here Are 5 Ways to Avoid Electrical Accidents During the Holidays

During the holidays, a lot of people use more electricity than they normally do throughout the rest of the year. Because of this, there tend to be quite a few electrical accidents that occur between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Fortunately, there are some ways to prevent holiday electrical accidents.

1. Hang up the Right Kind of Lights Outside

Not all types of holiday lights are meant to be hung outside. Some people don’t realize this, and they put themselves at risk of having an electrical fire. Before any types of lights are hung up outside, they need to be checked to make sure they are meant to be placed outdoors and that they are in good shape.

2. Do Not Plug in Too Many Lights

A lot of people make the mistake of plugging in too many holiday lights into a single circuit, and this can cause it to overload. When this happens, it can cause a short circuit and a fire. If a circuit gets overloaded and is no longer functioning properly, an electrician from Mr. Electric can replace or repair it.

3. Keep Holiday Lights Away From the Fireplace

Surprisingly, there are some Tampa, Florida residents who have a fireplace, and they like to decorate it for the holidays. While holiday lights might look good on the mantle, the heat from a roaring fire can cause them to melt. It’s best to only decorate a mantle with items that don’t need to be plugged in and won't melt.

4. Plug Extension Cords Into Outlets

For those who have a lot of holiday decorations that they place far away from an outlet, they may have gotten into the habit of plugging extension cords into each other. Unfortunately, this can cause the extension cords to overheat and damage the holiday decorations. They are better off using a surge protector that’s made for the outdoors or moving their holiday decorations so that they are closer to an outlet.

5. Use Space Heaters Properly

Tampa, Florida can get chilly during the winter months. Space heaters can be very beneficial for those who don’t have any other way to heat their homes. However, quite a few electrical fires occur because a space heater wasn’t used properly. They should never be placed in a walkway or an area where they can be easily knocked over. There shouldn’t be any objects or flammable items directly in front of them, and they should never be left unattended, even if it's for only a couple of minutes.

With the holidays comes an increase in electrical accidents. Fortunately, many of these accidents can be avoided if the right precautions are taken. Contact us at Mr. Electric for all your electrical service needs in Tampa or the surrounding area.

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6 Practical Tips for Lowering Your Electric Bill During Winter

As the months get colder, your energy bills tend to rise. Heating can be more expensive than air conditioning, and you're usually home more in the winter. Shorter days and longer nights paired with the holiday season are just a few reasons for a higher electric bill. You can save money on your electric bill this winter in multiple ways.

1. Weatherstrip Your Doors and Windows

Doors and windows may allow heat to leak out of your house, but new weatherstripping can help. Sealing your windows and doors can cut down on drafts during the winter months. Along with weatherstripping, door sweeps and draft stoppers will protect your residence during the cold months.

2. Close the Damper When Not Using the Fireplace

A fire in your fireplace can be cozy on a winter night. Remember to close the damper, or heat could escape when the fireplace isn't in use. A more efficient fireplace could help keep your home comfortable and lower your electric bill. Switching to a gas fireplace and a glass screen allows you to feel comfortable without losing heat through the chimney.

3. Unplug or Power Down Electronics

Your family probably uses electronics and appliances all the time that require charging. Unplug small appliances and electronics when not using them to prevent overcharging the devices. Electronics you can unplug include televisions, microwaves, and video game consoles. An easy way to lower your electric bill is to power down electronics when not in use. An example is allowing a computer to run instead of powering it down or putting it in sleep mode.

4. Turn Off or Replace the Lights

Make sure to turn off the lights when no one is occupying the room or leaving the house. Utilize the plentiful sunlight during the day in Tampa, FL. Our electricians can retrofit your lighting to help reduce your electric bill. Switching out incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient ones can use much less energy. ENERGY STAR light bulbs last roughly six times longer than traditional ones and use about 75% less energy.

5. Bundle Up

Turn down the thermostat for winter weather for an easy way to lower energy usage. Turning your thermostat down a few degrees for about eight hours can save up to 10% on your electric bill. You can wear a sweater or long sleeves instead of turning up the heat.

6. Get Outside More

One of the reasons that you use more energy in the winter is that you're usually home more. You're less likely to spend your time watching television when going out for a winter sport or activity. The less time your family is home, the fewer appliances will be using power.

As the holidays approach, households usually use more electricity for laundry, heating, and lighting. Keeping your windows and doors closed and replacing your air filter are easy ways to lower your electric bill. If you need circuit breaker replacements or upgrades to prepare for the winter, call us at Mr. Electric today.

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Electrical Safety Tips to Remember This Fall

After a long, hot summer, the fall weather can be a nice relief. When the weather turns and the nights grow longer, there are few things to remember so that you can keep your household safe. These electrical safety tips should help you reduce the chances of receiving a shock, having to deal with a malfunction, or facing the very real danger of a fire.

Clean up Around the House

Even though Tampa doesn't get that cold, you may have deciduous trees on your property. These trees lose their leaves during fall, and those leaves could collect near your home. If these dry leaves are near outlets, light fixtures, or power cords, there's the potential that a spark could cause them to catch on fire. To prevent this from happening, remove leaves from your property in the fall.

Inspect your Outlets

Outlets seem like they might be able to last forever, but they can get worn down just like anything else can. This could be more likely if you use them frequently. In other instances, outlets haven't bee installed properly. Whatever the cause, it's important that you replace any outlets that seem damaged or loose. If they're discolored, this is a bad sign as well, since it could indicate a short circuit. Short circuits could easily start fires.

Make Sure Your Outdoor Devices Are Ready for the Weather

Outdoor electrical items should be inspected before you plug them in. This includes lights and decorations that you'd like to display during the holidays. First, you need to make sure that they were designed to work outdoors. They also need to be in good shape so they can withstand the elements. If water gets in, the electrical components could stop working. Another potential concern is that the internal wiring could malfunction and cause sparks to fly.

Have Your Electrical Panel Inspected

You may want to have a professional electrician take a look at your electrical panel to make sure it's up to code. In the winter, you probably put a lot more stress on your system, especially if you have holidays lights and displays to plug in. If a circuit is overloaded, it could shut off as a safety measure. It could also overheat, a scenario that's particularly dangerous. Intense heat could damage the insulation around the wiring. When wiring is exposed, electricity can flow where it shouldn't. It could cause smoke or fire, and it could pose a danger to anyone who may be around it. At Mr. Electric, we can assess what's going on and upgrade your panel, as necessary, so that it can better meet your needs.

This fall, we hope you can stay safe, and this information can help you do so. Call Mr. Electric if you could use a hand.

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What Are the Best Practices for Electrical Preventative Maintenance?

No one likes an unexpected costly electric breakdown. Routine electrical maintenance is the best way to protect your home or business. Preventive maintenance allows our electricians to find issues before they become a problem, and there are many tools and techniques to ensure everyone's safety.

Where Is Electrical Maintenance Performed?

Regular electrical maintenance ensures that all electrical equipment stays in good working order in Tampa, FL. Preventive maintenance includes inspecting, testing, and repairing electrical wires and equipment to prevent power loss and fires. Businesses and homes use electrical maintenance to protect everyone and prevent premature equipment breakdowns.

What Electrical Equipment Does Preventative Maintenance Include?

Electricians should do preventative maintenance at least once every three years, but some locations could need more frequent maintenance visits. Some electrical equipment may need annual, biannual, or even monthly maintenance depending on the operational nature and physical environment. For instance, equipment that's key to a process in a factory should have regular maintenance performed very frequently.

Every piece of electrical equipment has its specific maintenance requirements and schedules to keep running efficiently. Typical electrical equipment that our electricians cover during a maintenance visit includes:

  • Circuit breakers
  • Power outlets
  • Electromechanical machines
  • Air conditioners and furnaces
  • Generators
  • Protective relays
  • Surge protectors
  • Transformers
  • Lighting systems

Lighting Maintenance

Lighting maintenance improves the reliability of your lights and can cut costs. Our electricians can lower the risk of future breakdowns by performing tests and repairs. If it's more efficient, an electrician will replace your lighting.

An electrician will replace any burnt-out lights and perform a group replacement to cut lighting issues. Electricians check the lighting cables and wiring after changing the lights to ensure they are out of the elements. The final step is adjusting lights, cleaning the lighting systems, and checking any battery charges.

Electrical Safety Maintenance

Our electricians practice electrical safety maintenance to prevent hazards. During routine maintenance, electricians check for risks of electrical accidents. If you own a business, your electrical systems must meet OSHA and NFPA 70E standards. Tampa, FL homes must also be in compliance with the National Electric Code. Maintenance can ensure code compliance to help homeowners avoid fines and safety issues.

An electrician can also check major appliances for damage to the wires, cables, and cords. After discovering any defects, they will make the necessary repairs or replacements.

Understanding the best practices for electrical maintenance helps protect everyone. Each electrical system and piece of electrical equipment needs to be maintained to run efficiently and safely. If you have questions about electrical maintenance, call us at Mr. Electric for an appointment today.

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Why LED Lighting Should Be Considered for Your Commercial Facility

The lighting industry has come a long way over the years. If you're building a commercial facility in Tampa or are planning on making changes to an existing one, you should consider putting in LED lighting. LEDs, or "light-emitting diodes," come with many benefits. Several of those benefits will be described below.

Long Lifespan

Incandescent bulbs, which used to be very commonly found in commercial settings, can last around 1,000 hours, on average. This may seem pretty good, except when you compare that to the average lifespan of an LED, which is estimated to be 50,000 hours. It could even be as high as 100,000 hours. Clearly, LEDs have a huge advantage in this department. This means you can save some money not having to frequently replace your lights.


LEDs are very efficient, and this will also save your business money in the long run. While it's difficult to give you an exact number of how much energy you'll save by using LED lights versus incandescent ones, we can tell you that many customers see well more than a 50% improvement in overall energy efficiency. It could be much higher, and that's because nearly all of the energy that goes into the diode is used to make light. In other words, there is hardly any energy that's wasted in these types of lights.


Some lights, such as fluorescent lights, have mercury in them. This is perfectly fine when they're in operation, but they need to be disposed of in a special manner. LED lights aren't made with mercury or other materials that require special handling, so you can dispose of them easily when the time comes.

Don't Produce Heat

LEDs don't emit a ton of heat as some other lightbulbs can. They're safe to touch, even after they've been on for a while, and they hardly add heat to the environment. This makes them ideal for offices, industrial locations, and other facilities that want to keep people and/or products at a comfortable temperature. As we all know, it's hot enough as it is in Tampa, and we don't need to increase the temperature more.

Flexible Design

Since LEDs are small, about the size of a single fleck of pepper, they can be used in a variety of settings. Of course, it's rare to see a single LED light on something, other than perhaps an indicator switch on a circuit board. LEDs can be put together in many different combinations, so you can use them in anything from a small cabinet to a large warehouse. If you'd like to create some visual interest for customers at your place of business, that can easily happen as well.

There are so many reasons why LEDs are the lights of the future. They are ideal for commercial facilities, and if you'd like assistance with the installation of your new LED lights, the team at Mr. Electric is ready to step in. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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