Electricity: Myth Vs. Fact

Electricity: Myth Vs. Fact

Making the distinction between fact and fiction isn’t always an easy task. There are myths, urban legends, and misunderstandings that all make it more difficult to discern the difference. When it comes to power and the voltage that runs through lines and electronics it is better to know what is right and what isn’t.

Static Electricity

Myth: Static electricity isn’t dangerous.

Running your feet and pranking someone with a little zap generally isn’t dangerous. When you pass that static on to electric devices it can damage them permanently. Sudden discharges of static electricity near flammable or combustible material can cause it to ignite or even explode. Even more interesting, lightning is actually a form of static electricity and we all know how dangerous it can be.

Rubber Apparel & Wood

Myth: Rubber clothing and wood both act as protection from voltage.

Rubber in its purest form does make for great insulation for voltage. However, shoes and gloves are not because manufacturers put in additives to make them more durable, flexible, & comfortable. Wood is actually a conductor, just not usually a great one. That is until it gets wet, then it becomes pretty decent conducting electricity.

Power Lines

Myth: Lines are installed with insulation.
Myth: If it’s not making sparks it has no power.
Myth: If I’m not touching it I’ll be okay.

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to power lines. What is safe and what is not? The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to any power lines is DON’T touch! If it’s down, stay at least 35 feet away, and call 9-1-1.
When put up most power lines in fact do not have any insulation. Instead, they have a coating to protect from the weather and that’s it. Our severe weather makes it more of a risk to see downed lines. When down, you’ll only really see sparks if there’s something for it to conduct too. Most of the time it lands either on asphalt, concrete, or dirt that won’t conduct the electricity. However, there is still quite a bit of power being delivered. When someone gets close enough, it could arc right to them causing serious health issues or even death.

Appliance

Myth: When not running or turned off appliances and electronics don’t use energy.

There’s a thought that when you aren’t using your TV, cooking on the stove, running the dryer, or have the lights off it doesn’t use any electricity. Thing is, they actually draw a little power all the time which is known as “vampire energy”. It’s just that when you aren’t using them it’s much less. The only way to stop this is by grouping them on a power switch that you can turn off, unplug when not in use, or use smart strips.

Remember when in doubt don’t touch exposed wiring!
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Hansen Electric

Light The Way

Light The Way

Redesigning & renovating a home is a big project that is both exciting and daunting! Taking all the little details into consideration is an investment of time and effort. Planning out pleasing and convenient lighting for the room or home is just as important as choosing the right paint color. Here are a few of our tips and suggestions to get the most out of upcoming home improvements.

Consider The Space

The first thing to consider is how each space will be used on a day-to-day basis. Ask yourself what will we be doing in this room? Then create a potential layout where each piece of furniture will be placed. This will help figure out where additional lighting may need to be added depending on function or location. Also, you may want to decide on accent lighting to add a bit of creativity, highlight beautiful artwork, woodwork, or even wall textures.

Variety of Lights

Placement matters to how lighting affects each room but so does the type of lighting in each space. An example of this is wall washes. They are typically used in areas where you want the room to feel larger, often picked for use in bathrooms and kitchens. Other common types include pendant lights, low wall, ceiling, & gaining in popularity extrusion lights. Making time to research all the available options will help you create a plan that works best for your home. A tip to keep in mind, don’t jump on the latest fad. It can leave your space feeling outdated within just a few years!

Outlets & Switches

Permanent lighting should be the first priority however, it’s also advisable to plan out where outlets will be placed for free-standing light and other electronics. Picking the right spot will make future rearrangement much smoother and reduce the need for additional upgrades and installations. Having the light switches installed in easy to reach places not only keeps you from fumbling in the dark but also keeps you from detracting from the beauty of the room’s aesthetics. Our suggestion is to also install dimmer switches where possible so only the amount of light you need is given.

The Right Fit

Once you have everything picked out, do a double-check of the estimated cost. Does it fit the budget you set in the beginning? If you find that the final cost goes beyond what you can afford, don’t worry! Talk to your electrical expert who may be able to suggest alternative solutions that still work with the plan you had. They may be able to help point you in the direction of even better fitting products, fixtures, and placements.

For all your electrical needs, contact Hansen Electric at 251-214-0620!

Electrical Safety & You

Electrical Safety & You

Electricity is the hero of homes when it comes to convenience and making our lives easier. It powers lights, charges our phones, gives life to our computers, turns on the TV for cartoons, gets the coffee pot going for your morning caffeine fix & so much more! Where would we be without our electric devices? Who knows!

Even with all its benefits, electricity is still a powerful force that should be respected and handled with proper care. Each year, more than 50,000 house fires are caused by faulty wiring, overloaded outlets, or malfunctioning machines. On top of that, thousands are sent to the ER each year for minor to critical injuries related to electrical shocks.  Having your whole family know and follow safety guidelines around electricity is an important step in keeping everyone safe & preventing fires in the home.

Safety Tips for Kids

·        Don’t play around with the big green transformer boxes.
·        Don’t play with RC planes, drones, or kites near power lines.
·        Don’t jerk cords from the wall.
·        Water and electricity don’t mix. Keep them apart.
·        When you’re unsure of something, ask an adult!

Suggestions for Homeowners
·        For homes with kids, cover outlets with or covers that can’t be opened or removed by curious little hands.
·        Avoid plugging too many devices into one outlet. Remember, extension cords & power strips are only meant to be used for a short time.
·        Use the correct wattage in light fixtures, there should be marking or a label stating the recommended wattage.
·        Once per month, test each smoke/carbon monoxide detectors & replace the batteries as needed
·        Stay observant for the common signs there’s a problem: Hot outlets/light switches, breakers constantly tripping, tingles, or static coming off of electric devices or components.
·        Any time you’re considering upgrading the home or remodeling, have an inspection done by a certified professional.

One of the best discoveries of all time, electricity can be our friend when used properly! When there is a problem, don’t attempt to fix or “band-aid” it yourself. Contact a licensed electrician to evaluate & perform all necessary repairs. This will ensure all work is done safely & meets all required safety provisions. If you need a hand with repairs, renovations or emergencies give Hansen Electric a call at 251-214-0620.

A Magic Moment for Darby!

A Magic Moment for Darby!

A Magic Moment for Darby!

✨ Magic Moments & Hansen✨
One of the greatest gifts we can give another is joy, laughter and moments to remember…MAGIC MOMENTS!

The non-profit organization, Magic Moments is dedicated to providing fulfilled wishes to Alabama children who are diagnosed with chronically life threatening illnesses. Founded in 1984, they have been able to grant the wishes of about 5000 children across all counties of Alabama giving them a chance to forget and just be kids.

Stories about the compassion, care, & support Magic Moments bring into the life of these families and children are awe inspiring to us all.

One such story comes from the Grand Bay area about a girl named Darby and her dream of having a place to compose and create music! Hansen heard about the plan to build her a music shed & wanted to help!

Many of our staff volunteered to pitch in and came together creating a plan. Hansen Electric crews arrived at the home to run power and wiring, hook up outlets, & lighting to help make the music shed a comfortable place.

We are so honored that we had the chance to take part in Darby’s special day!
Darby, you are someone to look up to and an inspiration to us all!

To learn more about Magic Moments, visit 

Tips for Fall & Winter Seasons

Tips for Fall & Winter Seasons

Tips to Prepare for Southern Fall & Winter Seasons!

Southern winters don’t bring snow, ice, or sub-zero temperatures but we still get cold rain, chilly winds, and extra bite from high humidity levels. Winterizing your home during the autumn season helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature & manageable utility bills.

We have a few simple suggestions to add to your fall maintenance checklist.

1. Remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve by flushing the water heater tank to ensure it’s in proper working order.

2. Look over doors & windows for gaps, worn away areas, separation, cracks, chips, rot, or any other damage. Replace any worn-out weather stripping and caulk any areas necessary.

3. If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save up to 10% on heating costs.

4. Have a thorough inspection done of your heating system by a licensed professional for operation and safety requirements. Replace the air filter allowing proper airflow and reducing the strain on your system.

5. Install carbon monoxide detectors through your home for an extra layer of protection and don’t forget to test them.

 
Whatever your needs, Hansen has you covered! Let us inspect your systems & diagnose any issues before the seasons change & the problems get worse! Give us a call at 251-471-3047