Category Archives: Safety

Ensuring the Safety of Your Ceiling Fans

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With triple digit heat throughout a good portion of the year, ceiling fans are a necessity in Arizona homes. While they are incredibly useful and energy-efficient, it’s important to keep some safety precautions in mind when installing them.

Distance from the Floor

Where to install a ceiling fan is an important decision. Fan blades should be no closer than seven feet from the floor. For maximum efficiency, the fan should be set around eight to nine feet above the floor. Fans with low profiles are available for ceilings that are lower than eight feet. As well, fans should be at least 18 inches away from walls and doors to prevent blades from hitting.

Lack of Support

One of the biggest hazards of ceiling fans is that they can break free from the ceiling if they’re not installed properly.  Every ceiling fan should be supported by an electrical junction box that was designed specifically for ceiling fans. A fan brace box must also be used to keep it secure. Don’t be tempted to simply install a ceiling fan where a lighting fixture once hung without upgrading these boxes. It can lead to the fan falling.

Poor Quality Assembly

Misaligned fan blades can cause fans to wobble. The biggest risk with a wobbly fan is its light fixture covers or shades loosening and falling. This misalignment can be caused by warping or bent or loose blades. To ensure your fan is safe and not wobbling, each blade should be securely attached with screws and tightened, prior to installation.

Call an Expert Electrician for Ceiling Fan Installation

Proper installation and maintenance of your ceiling fans is essential for keeping you and your loved ones safe. Your best option is to call an expert electrician who has the installation know-how to eliminate the risk of a falling or wobbly fan. At Cool Blew, we work with you to ensure your ceiling fans are properly placed and installed. As well, we are available for all your other home electrical projects of any size. From repairing an outlet to complete rewiring, call the Phoenix area electrical experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 today.

Holiday Decorating Electrical Safety Tips

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Safely decorating your home for the holidays should be the top item on your holiday wish list. To have a healthy and happy holiday before you deck the halls, follow these important tips to keep your tree glowing and outdoor lights impressive.

Christmas Tree Electrical Safety

Check all your lights for any damaged plugs, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. Light string defects may possibly cause fires or electrical shocks. Make sure the lights and decorations have certification labels from UL, CSA or other accredited inspection agencies. Look for lights certified as safe for indoor use. You might want to use LED lights which are cooler to the touch, more energy efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs. Replace burned out bulbs, and do not leave any empty sockets.

When using extension cords, make certain cords are not a tripping hazard across open spaces. Do not place cords under rugs, by any heat sources or attached to any metal, such as staples or nails. As well, uncoil extension cords completely before use.

Turn off all electrical decorations before going to sleep or leaving home. Keep Christmas trees and wrapped gifts at least three feet from heat sources, such as space heaters, radiators and fireplaces. Don’t let young children and pets play with or pull on Christmas lights.

For a live Christmas tree, check for freshness and refill the tree stand daily with water. If using an artificial tree, choose one with a fire-resistant label, and avoid hanging lights on artificial trees with metallic branches or leaves. And, of course, a good rule of thumb any time of the year is to test all smoke alarms and replace batteries if not functioning.

Outdoor Decoration Safety

Be certain extension cords and electrical decorations are rated for outdoor usage and inspect for any damage before using. All outdoor lights and extension cords should be plugged into GFCI protected outlets for safety. Avoid plugging in more than three light strings to a single extension cord. Do not extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it with another extension cord.

Keep lights and cords away from standing water and securely fasten lights to trees, shrubs and your home’s exterior to protect from wind damage. Use only fiberglass or wooden ladders when hanging electrical decorations outside. Metal ladders will conduct electricity. If you use spotlights for illuminating decorations, make sure they are protected from weather conditions and a safe distance from flammable items.

Have a joyous holiday season. For your holiday electrical questions, call Cool Blew at 623-872-2900.

Winter Electrical Safety Tips

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Home fires are more common during the winter months than any other time of the year – even in the greater Phoenix area. The increase in electrical product purchases along with colder weather means an unfortunate jump in electrical fires, electrocutions and injuries. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires. In fact, over 65,000 home fires are caused by heating equipment every year. Other electric appliances are also a leading cause of fires. Thus, it’s necessary to be extra vigilant during the winter months.

The following are some electrical home safety tips that can help keep you and your family safe through the cool winter months.

Space Heaters

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual before using any space heater. All space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from any combustible material, including clothing, bedding, draperies, furniture and rugs. Test the shut-off function of any space heater you’re using to ensure it automatically turns off when tipped or knocked over.

Do not use space heaters in any part of the house where children are not supervised, along with areas near water. Heaters should never be used in bathrooms or kitchens.

Electric Blankets and Heating Pads

Heating pads and blankets can warm you up on a cool evening, but they are not risk-free. Don’t use any heating pad or electric blanket that is worn or frayed. Don’t fold when in use and avoid placing other blankets or other items on top of them when in use.

Furnaces

Fall is the right time to ensure your furnace is working properly. Schedule a tune-up to check for problems like cracked heat exchangers, frayed electrical wires and other hazards that can potentially cause a fire. Keep the area around your furnace clear and change the air filter to eliminate any restriction to your furnace. Test your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to ensure they are functioning properly.

Call Cool Blew

Whether you suspect a heater or electrical problem or just want a maintenance check, Cool Blew is your resource for all your home electrical and heating needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 623-872-2900.

5 Home Heating Safety Tips Every Family Needs to Know

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We’re finally past the summer’s triple digit heat and enjoying the amazing fall weather that Arizona is famous for. Soon, the temperatures will drop enough that you may want to turn on the heat. Before you dial up your thermostat, it’s important to remember some critical home heating safety tips.

It’s a sad fact that the majority of home fires occur during the winter months, and many are due to heating-related factors. The following tips can help you and your family stay safe this season.

Keep Household Items Away from Heating Equipment

Newspapers, holiday decorations, clothing, toys and other household items can be extremely flammable when they’re placed too close to heating equipment like furnaces, fireplaces and portable space heaters. To avoid this common cause of house fires, keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from sources of heat.

Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning by installing alarms that can alert you and family members that there is a leak. Test these alarms monthly to ensure they’re working properly. Remember, if you smell gas in your home, leave your home immediately and call either your local fire department or your gas provider.

Use Only Qualified Professional Installers

Whether it’s a heat pump, water heater or stationary space heater, choose a qualified professional who installs equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

Choose a Sturdy Fireplace Screen

A fire can be a cozy treat on a cold winter’s night. But, it can also be a fire hazard. Make sure that your fireplace has a sturdy screen that prevents sparks and embers from flying into the room. Let fire ashes cool completely before putting them into any kind of container, and always keep ashes a safe distance away from your home.

Schedule Regular Maintenance on HVAC Equipment

HVAC equipment requires regular maintenance to ensure its safety. Call Cool Blew today to schedule a seasonal tune-up at 480-610-2100.