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When I go to turn my dimmer off, it is very hot. Is this a fire hazard?
Dimmers are rated for how many watts they are designed to handle. If a dimmer has to operate at or close to it's full capacity, it will heat up. Some dimmers have metal fins on the front of them to enable proper heat dissipation. You can either reduce the wattage connected to the dimmer to alleviate the problem, or put in a larger-rated dimmer.
I put new bulbs in my recessed lights and they turn on, stay on for a while, and they go back out. After a while, they will come back on again. What's going on?
Recessed lights are supplied with a thermal overload. Because the fixture is inside your ceiling, it is important that excessive heat from the bulbs do not cause a fire. Because of this, the thermal overload acts as a thermometer i.e. when the heat reaches a preset temperature, it will disconnect the electric. When the fixture cools down, the electricity is reconnected. To avoid this problem, lower wattage lamps will generate less heat, try changing them. The recessed can should have a sticker on the inside of it listing the lamps which are compatible with it.
We still have the round fuses instead of circuit breakers. Is this a safety issue?
No, it is not a safety issue unless the fuse box is damaged or deteriorating. Fuses are actually more sensitive than circuit breakers; therefore they are safer than circuit breakers. The problem with circuit-breakers is twofold. 1. After a fuse protects your home from an overloaded circuit, you have to throw it away. Therefore you may go through many fuses. Secondly, the majority of insurance companies now require that fuse boxes be replaced with circuit breakers.
Are our 2-prong outlets still ok to use in our home?
Most appliances and electrical devices today come with 3-prong plugs. The third prong is for grounding purposes. For safety issues, it is advisable to have everything in your home properly grounded; therefore, you should change them.
What is a GFI?
A GFI is an abbreviation for a Ground Fault Interrupter. It is a specially designed outlet normally used in wet locations to protect an individual from electrical shock. A GFI measures the resistance on the "positive" and "negative" loads connected to it. If there is more resistance in either of the 2 loads, the GFI trips. The electrical code requires that GFI's be installed in all kitchens, baths, and laundry areas.
What should children know about electrical safety when they play outside?
Assume overhead lines are powerlines and stay away from them. Do not climb trees, or fly kites near power lines. Never attempt to remove something that may be caught on an overhead line. Never touch anyone who is in contact with a power line, call 911. Get inside at the first sign of lightning. Do not seek shelter under a tree.
How do we keep our pets safe from electrical hazards?
Make sure that your pet (s) do not use electrical devices as toys.
- The same frayed electrical cord that delivers an electrical shock to an adult, may have enough voltage to kill a dog or cat.
- Keep electrical cords away from puppies and kittens.
- If you have difficulty getting your pet to stop chewing on the cord, you may want to wrap the cord in a thick plastic sleeve.
- Keep Halogen lamps away from play areas for pets and children. Some Halogen bulbs can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees.
A fire can easily begin, if the lamp knocked over during play.
- Discourage pets from curling up for a nap behind warm computer equipment.