What Causes Electrical Fires?

Electrical fires are the cause of over 50,000 fires, approximately 500 deaths, over 1,400 injuries and over $1 billion dollars in property damage a year. They are not only dangerous but can cause a lot of havoc. For safety, it’s important to know what can trigger an electrical fire and how to avoid them.

What is an electrical fire?

An electrical fire is a failure or fault in a section of machines or equipment that causes a fire.  This is usually caused by cables, circuit breakers, electric wires and the electrical parts of an item.

Top 5 causes of an electrical fire

  1. Electrical outlets

Faulty electrical outlets are the top cause of electrical fires. An electrical fire can also happen if the socket is worn out and not properly grounded. The wiring behind the outlets wears out over time, loosens and even breaks. The reason why these can cause a fire is because the faults get triggered when an old appliance is plugged in as it requires a lot of power to work. This then can ignite a blaze. A way to prevent this from happening is by repairing or replacing a faulty outlet as soon as you notice it.

  1. Wiring

Over time, it is common for wiring to wear out and become outdated. Wires that were installed 20 years ago may not have the capacity to handle an increase of power with today’s use of technology and appliances. Once loaded with too much power, the old wires combined with an old breaker box cause an overload and eventually could lead to an electrical fire.

  1. Light fittings and fixtures

Another common cause of an electrical fire is light fixtures, fittings, lamps and light bulbs. The main reason why these can cause an electrical fire is because a light bulb with wattage too high for the lamp or light fixture is installed. Fires can also be caused if fabrics are placed over a lamp which causes the material to heat up, light up and cause a fire.

  1. Circuit overloads

If you keep experiencing short-circuiting due to circuit overloads, this is a recipe for disaster. Plugging in too many cords and appliances or using one extension cord to power multiple items at once, could result in a fire. This is because it creates an extreme power load in one single socket that can’t handle that amount of power.

  1. Portable heaters

When a portable heater is placed too close to a flammable surface, this can easily cause an electric fire. Flammable surfaces include clothing, chairs, couches, beds and rugs. The heater can become very hot especially if it’s an older heater that isn’t regularly maintained or serviced. A very hot heater meeting a flammable surface smells danger. To avoid this from happening, a portable heater should be kept away from these surfaces and regularly serviced. A portable heater should also only be left turned on when attended.

Warning signs of an electrical fire

Spotting warning signs of an electrical fire could avoid a fire causing damage to the safety of you and your home. Here are some warning signs of an electrical fire:

If you spot these warning signs, it’s important to give your local electrician a call as soon as possible to ensure any faults are fixed to avoid an electrical fire.

Pros and Cons of Having A Ceiling Fan in Your Home

We’ve heard so many debates regarding the pros and cons of having a ceiling fan in your home. We are here to put that debate to rest and have you make the decision yourself! We’ve seen ceiling fans in a lot of older homes and they’ve now made a comeback and are trending in new and modern luxury homes.

Pros of having a ceiling fan in your home

  1. Lowers your electricity costs

This is one of the major advantages of having a ceiling fan in your home. They save you quite a bit of money off your energy bill. In fact, ceiling fans save you approximately 40% on your electricity costs. How it does this? Your air conditioning unit doesn’t need to work so hard to cool down or warm up a room.

  1. They can keep you cool as well as warm

Ceiling fans aren’t just made to keep you cool! This is a fact that not many people are aware of. By pushing air downwards, the fan creates a breeze that cools your skin down through evaporation. If you want the ceiling fan to keep you warm, all you need to do is reverse the blades on the fan or change the direction of the rotation so that the fan pulls air upwards instead.

  1. They look good

Ceiling fans have evolved a whole lot than what they looked like in the 90s! Coming in a huge range of sizes, finishes and styles, there is sure to be a beautiful ceiling fan that will add a gorgeous aesthetic touch to your home. Complementing the interior of your home, ceiling fans have become a great accessory to lighten up a room.

  1. Built-in light

The majority of ceiling fans have a built-in light which is an added bonus that creates ambient lighting in a room. These lights also usually feature dimming lights which are great when you don’t enjoy bright lights at night!

Cons of having a ceiling fan in your home

  1. They’re hard to clean

Anything that’s high up is pretty difficult to clean and a ceiling fan is one of those things! Dust builds up quiet frequently on ceiling fans and it’s a pain to clean. Sometimes they require purchasing special cleaning equipment to ensure cleanliness is kept up.

  1. They’re very loud

Over time, ceiling fans have their weight shift which means they get louder and louder. We’ve all been in a room with a fan and thought about how distracting it is! The noise also becomes more prominent at night time when you’re trying to go to bed.

  1. The light isn’t bright

A great feature of a ceiling fan is that most of them come with a light. The downfall is that light isn’t usually very bright. It doesn’t really add that much value as additional lights will need to be installed to provide a well-lit room.

  1. Hazard if the ceilings aren’t high

If your ceiling isn’t that high, a ceiling fan could be a hazard. If the ceiling is low, it could mean people will bump their heads into the fan. This can be very dangerous when the fan is turned on and spinning at a high speed.

So there you have it! There are the pros and cons of having a ceiling fan in your home. If you’re looking to install or uninstall a ceiling fan in your home, it’s important to get a licensed electrician to do the work for you! Give Our Local Electrician a call on 03 9909 5369 for all your ceiling fan queries.

Why Do My Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping?

Why Do My Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping?

A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch that is designed to protect your electrical circuits. To ensure safety in your home, a circuit breaker switches your electricity off when there is too much current flowing through a certain circuit.

Here are the 3 top reasons why your circuit breakers keep tripping:

  1. Circuit overload

This is one of the most common reasons why your circuit breaker keeps tripping. An overloaded circuit happens when you’re trying to get more electricity from a circuit than its actual capacity. The circuit will overheat which will lead to it tripping. This could also be dangerous for the appliances that are connected to the particular circuit.

A way you can avoid this is by either not having all your appliances in the same circuit or even just turning appliances off when you’re not using them.

  1. Short circuit

A short circuit could also be a potential reason your circuit breakers keep tripping. This is when a hot electrical wire and a neutral wire touch which hen causes a large amount of current to flow and overload the circuit. This creates heat that the circuit can’t handle and trips it.

Short-circuiting could be caused by a loose connection or faulty wiring. These can be very dangerous as the temperatures coming from the current can become a fire hazard. It’s important to bring in the experts if there is a burning smell or there is discolouration around the circuit.

  1. Ground fault

A ground fault is a type of short circuit that happens when a hot wire touches a ground wire or a metal outlet box. This causes more current to flow through at a rate that will overload the circuit and cause it to trip.

The same as a short circuit, this could also be very dangerous due to fire hazards or potential burning.

Circuit Breaker Tripping

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it’s important to get a professional in to have a look at your electrical wiring. This ensures safety in your home and puts your mind at ease!

5 Reasons Why You Should Make The Switch To LED Lights

In this day and age, making the switch to LED lights has become a huge trend! With so many lighting options on the market, LED lights have taken everyone by storm proving to be a huge advantage. They provide long term benefits for you and the environment.

LED lights are the future of lights. Here are 5 reasons why you should make the switch to LED lights:

  1. LED lights use less power

One of the top reasons why you should make the switch to LED lights is that they use less power! LED lights increase energy efficiency by approximately 80%. The generated energy from an LED light only loses 5% to heat and the rest is converted to light.

  1. You will save money

The use of less power means your electricity bill will decrease too. It’s a win-win situation! There’s a huge financial advantage when you switch to LED lighting. They also last longer and have less maintenance so you’ll be saving on those costs too!

  1. LED lights reduce the carbon footprint

Using LED lights not only are an advantage for you, but also an advantage for the environment. When you use less power and energy, you’re producing fewer greenhouse emissions. They also don’t contain highly toxic mercury so it reduces toxic waste when the lights are disposed of.

  1. LED lights last longer

Lasting longer than your standard light bulb, LED lights usually last for approximately 50,000 hours. So you’re looking at changing your LED light around every 10 years in comparison to every year when you’re using a standard bulb.

  1. They look good!

Using LED lights means you have so many more options when it comes to aesthetically lighting up your home. Strip lights not only look great but can be used in the bedroom, kitchen, under the couch and even just as decoration!

Ready to make the switch to LED lighting? Give Our Local Electrical Services a call on 03 9909 5369 and have the professionals complete the job for you.

How To Childproof Your Power Points

Children are always the most curious little human beings. One minute they’re in front of you and in the blink of an eye, they’ve wandered away throughout the house. Something we’ve probably all experienced is seeing a child grab whatever they see and try to shove them in little places – just to see what will happen! Well, one area you don’t want that happening in, is electrical power points.

It’s so important to childproof all your power points when your child gets to the age of curiosity to ensure they don’t harm themselves. Here are some tips on how to childproof your power points.

  1. Safety plugs

Safety plugs are the most common way to childproof your power points. Safety plugs act as a ‘filler’ so nothing can be put in or jammed into the socket. These are simple and easy for adults to insert and remove however will be tricky for the little ones to remove! This is a cheap and simple method that seems to be quiet effective when it comes to childproofing!

  1. Faceplate

Many houses have much more electricity points than even required! A way to avoid potential danger for your little one is by adding a faceplate to those electricity points that you don’t use. This completely covers the electricity point off. If in the future, you find a use for this power point, it’s as simple as replacing the faceplate with the original plug.

  1. Sliding covers

Sliding covers are a great innovative way to childproof your power points. This is a simple cover that slides open when used and simply slides closed when not in use. This is a similar concept to a safety plug however it doesn’t need to continually be removed and put back in which means there’s no way you can lose it!

  1. Hide them

A way to childproof your power points is by hiding them! How to do so? Move some furniture in front of the power points. You may need to redecorate and shuffle your furniture around but it can be the simplest way to childproof your electrical power points.

Protecting your children from potential danger is always top of mind when your little ones are growing up and starting to explore their surroundings. It’s important to factor in your electrical power points and how to childproof them in these instances. Sometimes the best thing you can do is call in the professionals at Our Local Electrician to ensure your power points are secured and childproofed. You can give our friendly team a call on 03 9909 5369.

How Often Do I Need to Change My Smoke Alarm?

A smoke alarm that is properly installed and maintained is a tool that could be the saver to a potentially extremely harmful situation. It provides early detection and warning to a fire that could be deadly.

We all know the battery of a smoke alarm should be replaced every year. But we always received questions regarding replacement of the whole smoke alarm and how often it should be replaced.

As much as we wished they did, smoke alarm systems don’t last a lifetime. Every now and again, your smoke alarm should be replaced. A general rule of thumb is that your smoke alarm should be replaced every 10 years. It’s important to take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions as each and every smoke alarm is different. However, if it’s gone missing, the 10-year rule should be followed.

If you’re forgetful and can’t remember when you purchased your smoke alarm, a standard requirement on every single smoke alarm is that the serial number o batch number is printed on the actual device. Have a look at this and it’s an easy way to discover the dates.

Smoke alarm technology is continually improving and evolving so having older and outdated smoke alarms could be a sign of potential danger.

Smoke Alarm Maintenance

Here’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to smoke alarm maintenance on your property.

These are the best ways to maintain your smoke alarm and ensure its working effectively.

Our Local Electrician provides a smoke alarm service that includes installation, repairs and maintenance for both residential and commercial properties. We complete installation testing and ensure everything is up to satisfaction before we leave. With over 15 years of experience and a lifetime labour guarantee, you’re assured to have reliable, professional and perfectionist electricians completing the job for you.

Our Local Electrician in Melbourne is open 24 hours, 7 days a week for your convenience. Give our friendly team of expert electricians a call on 03 9909 5369 and mention code #localelectrician for a $0 call out fee!

Signs That It’s Time To Upgrade Your Switchboard

A switchboard is the central point of all your homes electrical wiring. If your electricity is out, you’ll be going straight to your switchboard to see what’s wrong. The switchboard can usually be found inside your house or on the outside connected to the side of the house.

If you’re renovating, buying new appliances or having issues, it’s important to upgrade your switchboard. An old or damaged switchboard could harm the safety of your home and family.

Here are some signs that it’s time to upgrade your switchboard:

Melted or blackened fuses

A very important sign that a switchboard upgrade needs to happen in the very near future! Melted or blackened fuses are signs that your fuses are old and damaged and need replacing. This could also harm the safety of your home and needs a licensed electrician to have a look at it as soon as possible!

Flickering lights

If you have flickering lights in your home it’s a sign that your switchboard could possibly be overloaded. Loose wiring and damaged switchboards also sometimes cause your lights to flicker.

Sparks

If you’re plugging something into an electricity point and you see sparks, there is either something wrong with your switchboard or the item you’re plugging in. If there are sparks around your switchboard or on your switchboard, you need to call a licensed electrician immediately as it presents a lot of danger.

Overcrowded

If there are wires all over the place and you can’t see what’s connected to what, you know that your switchboard definitely needs an upgrade. It’s time to get rid of the congestion and clean up your switchboard so it doesn’t eventually overload.

You live in an old house

It’s more than likely that if you live in an old house, you have an old and outdated switchboard that accompanies it. Older switchboards have fewer circuits which aren’t really enough for the electricity that needs to run through your house.

Appliances trip the circuit

In this day and age, a lot more appliances are in use and plugged in at the same time. What this can do to an older switchboard is overload it. Do you ever have the issue where you turn an appliance on and your switchboard short circuits? That’s a sign you need a new one!

Time for a switchboard upgrade in Melbourne? We’re your local electrician! We work around the clock to offer a convenient and reliable service. We offer free no-obligation quotes for peace of mind and we’re only one phone call away on 03 9909 5369. We have been upgrading and replacing switchboards for years and are licensed and insured. We’ll upgrade your switchboard today! We’re the right team for you! Here at Our Local Electrical Services, we are professionals trained in our field. We’re reliable and perfectionist electricians working 24/7 to provide a convenient service in Melbourne.

How To Save On Your Electricity Bill

Electricity bills can be a huge dent in your pocket every quarter and we’re all always wondering how to reduce the bill. We’re all for finding new tips and tricks to get that bill to go down! We’ve put together ways that could make that change so you can save on your electricity bill.

  1. Use energy-efficient lighting

Lights are always on in your home. So many of us are guilty of leaving the lights on even when we’re not in that room! One easy and practical way to save on your electricity bill is by changing your light bulbs to energy-efficient light globes. Traditional incandescent or halogen light bulbs can bring that bill up without even trying! Energy efficient light globes, like LED lights, not only use less electricity but they also have a longer life span.

  1. Wash clothes in cold water

Hot water really does take a lot of power and can increase your electricity bill significantly. When possible, it’s best to wash your clothes in cold water to save a little extra. Newer washing machines also have eco settings which are great to take advantage of to save anywhere you can.

  1. Switch off appliances from the power point

Even though your appliances may not be in use, the appliances being in standby with the power point switched on is costing you money! Things like your television, dishwasher, kettle, toaster, phone charger and microwave still guzzle electricity even when they’re not being used. Switching these off from the power point will avoid this and save you money off your electricity bill. Alternatively, you could purchase a smart power board which will stop standby electricity for you if you’re forgetful!

  1. Check your thermostat

A thermostat is the heat centre of your home. Checking if your thermostat is not functioning properly or programmed at the wrong setting could be increasing your electricity bill significantly. A way you could save on your electricity bill is by setting a programmed temperature and time so it’s not running all day every day.

  1. Shop around for electricity rates

A smart way to save on your electricity bill is by comparing energy offers from different companies. Why pay more when a competitor will offer you less!? It doesn’t take you long to compare and could save you a lot of money on your electricity bills.

  1. Insulate your home

Insulation in your home will reduce heating and cooling costs which contribute to your rising electricity bill. It’s cost-effective and will help sustain a comfortable natural temperature in your home.

Still unsure on how you could save on your electricity bill? Or do you need a professional to upgrade your home to ensure savings? We’re the right team for you! Here at Our Local Electrical Services, we are professionals trained in our field. We’re reliable and perfectionist electricians working 24/7 to provide a convenient service in Melbourne. Give us a call on 03 9909 5369 and we’ll help you save on your next electricity bill!

How To Change A Light Bulb

We’ve all had light bulbs go out. It’s an unavoidable part of your home maintenance that needs to be replaced every now and again. Changing a light bulb is such an easy task to do and we’ll show you just how in a step by step guide. You’ll be changing your light bulbs like a pro in no time!

What needs to be done

  1. Power needs to be turned off

It’s important that the power is turned off for safety reasons and to avoid any hazards that could occur. The safest way to turn your power off is by going to your fuse box and switching the large red power button off.

  1. Let the light bulb cool

Don’t touch the light bulb as soon as you’ve turned it off to avoid any burns. Let the light bulb cool down before touching it.

  1. Safely access the light

Safety comes before anything when changing a light bulb. Ensure that you can safely access the light. You could use a stepladder to do this.

  1. Take out the light bulb

There are two types of bulbs – screw fitting and bayonet mount.  If your light bulbs are screw fitting, twist the light bulb anticlockwise until it comes out of the socket. If your light bulbs are bayonet mount, push the light bulb upwards and then twist the light bulb anticlockwise until it comes out.

  1. Replace the light bulb

Grab your new replacement light bulb and screw it firmly into the socket turning the bulb clockwise until it locks into place.

  1. Turn the power back on

Go back to your fuse box and switch that large red power button back on.

  1. Dispose of your old light bulb

It’s important to dispose of your old light bulb safely. Grab the box of your new light and place the old light in it so the glass doesn’t break. You can then get rid of it!

  1. Enjoy your newly lit up space!

Sit back and enjoy the beauty of a well-lit room.

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