Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
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04 Dec 2018
holiday lighting

Office Lighting Safety Guide During the Holiday Season

From a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, holiday lights are one of the most common office holiday decorations. For safety, it is important to realize which lighting options are best for your office. Plus, holiday lights will also require a source of power with the proper use of power strips or extension cords. Prevent potential office hazards by discovering our office lighting safety guide during the holiday season.

Best Holiday Lighting Option

LED lights are the best choice for holiday lights. In comparison to incandescent light bulbs, LED lights are energy efficient. For one, they use up 75 percent less electricity and last essentially 25 times longer. Most importantly, they are safe to use. Plus, utilizing LED lights reduces the risk of potential fires as they emit minimal heat. Spending a fortune already on holiday gifts? LED lights cost more up front, but last longer than other bulbs. The average rated life is up to 50,000 hours!

Lighting Tips

  • Avoid nailing or stapling light strings (to walls, roofs, etc.) to prevent impaired wire insulation.
  • Place lights over or above nails for outdoor lighting. Utilize hanging clips for indoor lighting.
  • Use a timer for holiday lighting can help prevent fire hazards and reduce energy consumption.
  • Use indoor lighting indoors, outdoor lighting outdoors (check packaging for usage instructions).

Power Strip vs Extension Cord

Holiday lights are often placed in unconventional places, such as ceilings or walls. Thus, several power sources to power office lighting may be required. Thankfully, that is where power strips and extension cords come in hand. For optimal safety, understand their differences. One, a power strip is an individual segment of a cable with one plug on the end with a row of sockets featured on a plastic box. Two, an extension cord is much longer and contains two or three plugs. Additionally, it is imperative to understand that power strips can be utilized for a period of a few days. Extension cords should only be used for hours on end.

Power Strip Holiday Tips

  • Avoid overloading power strips with major home appliances (space heater, oven). They are intended for small loads of power.
  • Do not exceed the maximum voltage on a power strip to avoid catastrophic electrical fires and malfunctioning appliances.
  • Abstain from overuse to avoid defecting devices. Power strips are not an efficient replacement for electrical outlets.
  • Always check for a surge protection device. This helps preserve equipment if a short/surge occurs.
  • Lastly, avoid plugging power strips and extension cords into each other to prevent weakening equipment, device impairment, and worst case scenario—an office home.

Note: All it takes is staying proactive about lighting hazards. Also, pay attention to voltage ratings to remain safe during the holidays. Remember to not overuse and to time or turn off holiday lights when necessary. Happy Holidays!

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

25 Oct 2018
fall office electrical tips

Fall Electrical Safety Tips

Fall brings in changing colored leaves with variable cooler climate changes. It is important to keep in mind different seasons may require different cautions for office electrical safety. With that, there may be more electrical challenges to face as more time will be spent indoors. Stay proactive and follow our fall safety tips to make the workplace safe and hazard-free.

Electrical Wiring

The holidays are just around the corner! Can your office electrical system handle extra power required for decorations and lights? Faulty wiring is the number one cause of house fires and has the potential to devastate an office. Keep your employees safe by not overloading a circuit, which is a cause of faulty wiring.  Before putting up decorations, contact Kirby Electric for a professional electrical inspection.

Inspect Extension Cords

Furthermore on holiday power usage, the most common decorations are Halloween lights, moving objects (such as flying bats) or other multiple electrical devices that require power. For safety, make sure to inspect office extension cords before use. Check for any signs of damage or wear and tear as this can be a severe fire hazard. To ensure safety, avoid inputting too many plugs into the same socket and do not stack them.

Space Heaters

It is common to utilize space heaters in the office, especially when fall mornings can be chilly. While space heaters are comforting, they can cause fire hazards if they are not properly placed in a safe area. Avoid placing space heaters three feet of anything flammable. Likewise, avoid plugging it into an extension cord. Furthermore, unplug space heaters after use to eliminate risk of an after hours fire.

Contact Kirby Electric to Inspect Your Office Today

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofitsemergency service repairspreventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

 

18 Sep 2018
lighting

Indoor vs Outdoor Lighting: Are They Interchangeable?

When lighting needs replacement in the office, it is important to pay attention on whether the light bulbs are for indoor or outdoor use. Outdoor light bulbs are more variable. Typically, they are interchangeable for indoor and outdoor use. In contrast, indoor lights are not designed to withstand outdoor temperature changes. Discover which light bulbs are for indoor or outdoor use, or both.

UL Rating

First, the best way to figure out whether a light bulb can be utilized outdoors is by discovering the UL rating. Generally, most lighting fixtures are rated and tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Also, UL has a specific rating for particular locations as well. Below are the different locations and with the corresponding UL rating:

  • UL Listed- Dry Locations: labeled: “UL Listed”
    • includes living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, hallways, kitchens, most bathroom areas
  • UL Listed- Damp Locations: labeled “Suitable for Damp Locations” or “Suitable for Wet Locations”
    • includes bathtubs, showers, indoor pool areas, utility rooms
  • UL Listed- Wet Locations: labeled “Suitable for Wet Locations”
    • used both wet indoor and outdoor locations
    • includes gazebos, walkways, open patio and decks, outdoor dining areas

Note on damp rated products or fixtures. Utilize in outdoor areas only when they are fully covered and not exposed to water. For example, a covered patio.

Safe Light Bulb use for Specific Locations

Discover which types of light bulbs can be used indoors, outdoors, or both:

  • LED Lights: used both indoors and outdoors
  • Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: used indoors and outdoors
    • check the max temperature the bulb can endure from its packaging for outdoor use
  • Incandescent Flood Light Bulbs: used both indoors and outdoors if not in contact with water
    • used outdoors: incandescent flood light bulbs created to withstand elements
  • Halogen Spotlights and Flood Light Bulbs: used indoors and outdoors
  • Xenon Bulbs: used both indoors and outdoors (double check packaging for particular use)
  • Metal Halide Light Bulbs: used indoors and outdoors

Contact Kirby Electric to Inspect Your Office Today

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofitsemergency service repairspreventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

 

 

16 Aug 2018
office outlets

Is it Time to Replace your Office Outlets?

Office electricity is dependent on electrical outlets. With time, electrical outlets may start to loosen or become discolored. If you avoid or are unaware of the signs to replace old outlets, there can be safety hazard such as burns or shocks. Therefore, make sure to have properly functioning outlets in the workplace and to always have a plan for worst-case scenarios. Discover 4 signs that indicate it is time to replace your office outlets.

  1. Damaged Exterior

Typically, the cover or exterior part of an outlet does not have much correlation to the functionality of an outlet. However, damage to the outer cover can indicate possible damage inside the outlet. To be proactive, we suggest replacing outlets that have a cracked or damaged cover to avoid future electrical issues that can arise in an office.

  1. Discoloration

Discoloration may be a cautionary flag that the outlet has been damaged, burned, or even poorly installed. Therefore, avoid using a discolored outlet at all costs. For one, scorch marks or melted elements are a result of a short circuit. Damage to the receptacle can lead to an unfortunate office fire. Call a professional electrician to inspect your outlets as soon as possible to avoid any hazards.

  1. Moisture

Outlets that are exposed to moisture can become damp and can start to function improperly. Inspect outlets located in the office kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas where water is present. This is why ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are legally required, especially for receptacles may experience moisture. They protect an office and residences from fire, electrical shocks and electrocution.

  1. Loose

If plugs do not fit or are falling out of an outlet, your office needs new outlets. Also, if a plug can only partially stay inside of an outlet, this can be a fire hazard. Loose outlets can be an indication of possible internal fatigue. Thankfully, replacing loose outlets is a simple fix. Making sure that plugs can fit securely in an outlet is another proactive step to establish a safe office!

Contact Kirby Electric for Expert Electrical Help

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofitsemergency service repairspreventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

12 Jul 2018

What Causes Office Lights to Flicker?

Occasionally, offices can experience flickering lights. While this many appear normal, flickering lights can cause distractions. If this happens often, improper lighting can cause headaches, deplete energy, and eventually turn dim. Initially, why or how does this occur? Read on to discover why your office lights may be flickering.

One Bulb Flickering

Is there only one light that flickers in the office? LEDs and fluorescent lights tend to flicker more than other types of lightbulbs, therefore, it could be a normal issue. However, it does not hurt to be proactive. First, check if the light is screwed in or properly inserted in the light socket. Safely remove the lightbulb and screw it back in. If everything appears to be fine, the office light may be reaching the end of its lifespan. It may be time to invest in new LED lights.

Single Circuit Flickering

Flickering lights can also be a result of an overloaded circuit. Too many appliances plugged in on the same line can cause a power shortage. Plus, it could be possible the circuit wire is outdated. Typically, this issue commonly happens in old office buildings or residential homes that have outdated wiring that is not up to industry standards. If your office continues to experience flickering down the road, or the circuit breaker is not working properly, it may be time to hire a professional electrician for an inspection.

Office Building Flickering

Flickering lights that extend beyond a single room or circuit means there is a bigger issue to resolve. When an entire office experiences flickering lights, there could be a problem with the cable connections to an even larger power source. Protect your employees and office building by contacting a professional electrician to handle this large scale issue. Especially, since this problem can result to a fire hazard.

Contact Kirby Electric to Inspect Your Office Today

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofitsemergency service repairspreventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

22 Jun 2018
electrician

Why you Should Hire an Electrician and Avoid DIY Work

Learning and understanding how to fix up a home can be a good way to save money. However, certain areas of a residence should require professional expertise. Electrical installations and repairs can be dangerous and complicated. Attempting to do DIY work for electrical needs can lead to potential problems and as a result, can cost you a fortune to fix. Discover why hiring an electrician is imperative to correctly repair or handle electrical installations and repairs.

  1. Choose an Electrician Because Mistakes can be Costly

There is nothing wrong with trying to learn how to make simple repairs in your residence. Nonetheless, even the smallest electricity repair can be more difficult than anticipated. Without expertise and/or trying to discover the quickest way to get an electrical repair fixed on your own can cause even more problems. For instance, it is easier to accidentally cut the wrong wire or cord. If you are not sure, it is best not to try and dive in. It would be rather unfortunate to pay even more to fix and clean up your damages in comparison to the smaller bill provided by an electrician prior to your DIY work. Always call an electrician because at the end of the day, they are professionals and will handle your needs with care.

  1. Inspection Problems

Are you aware that electrical elements must pass an inspection?  Not only could DIY work lead to dangers, but if you fail an inspection, expect an enormous fine. For example, there are homeowners that believe they can hide repairs in attics or walls and realize they cannot sell their home because of a failed inspection.  Hiring an electrician insures that your home will pass an inspection!

  1. Fire Threats

We cannot emphasis enough that performing electrical repairs can be a dangerous task. There is a chance that a spark can occur and a fire can emerge. This is why it is crucial to hire an electrician—to avoid potentially destroying your home! Licensed electricians understand the correct procedures and safety measures to complete before taking on an electrical task. Being careless or even slightly uninformed on how to handle an electrical problem can be catastrophic. Avoid any devastation by avoiding DIY work, especially if you are not highly informed on how to fix electrical work.

Contact Kirby Electric for Expert Electrical Help

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofitsemergency service repairspreventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

31 May 2018

How to Check if an Office Space is Electrically Safe Before Renting

Is it time to discover the perfect office space for your business? Most important factors renters tend to focus on are the location and price. On the other hand, an imperative factor to pay attention to is safety. Is the space considered electrically safe? Being able to point out and understand potential safety issues can help avoid future fire hazards in such a busy environment. Read on to discover how to check if your potential office space is electrically safe to rent.

  1. Acknowledge Spacing

Where you place your electrical equipment is important. Avoid placing electrical equipment near other products or equipment. For one, equipment in close proximity can experience overheating and electrical fires. Therefore, make sure the office provides plenty of space and storage. Be able to conveniently store electrical items and office equipment safely.

  1. Control Dust with Proper Ventilation

Whether at home or in an office, make sure that dust does not compile in any given space. Dust can create a potential choking hazard. In worst case scenarios, small areas that are not properly ventilated and collect a build-up of dust can become explosive. Make sure to remediate dust and clean dusty areas on a regular basis. Select an office that includes proper ventilation to avoid dust hazards.

  1. Ensure Socket Safety

It is important to inspect all wall sockets. Nonetheless, insufficiently fitted or improperly grounded sockets can lead to electrocution. They can also fry and damage plugged in electrical equipment. Plus, sparks can occur, likely leading to a fire. Speak to your landlord or building management if you suspect any problems with any of the wall sockets. Contact a professional electrician to inspect any sockets and other specifics you are unsure about before selecting an office space.

Contact Kirby Electric to Inspect Your Office Today

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofits, emergency service repairs, preventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

18 Jan 2018
resolutions

3 New Year Resolutions for Your Office Electrical System

As 2018 has arrived, setting goals and resolutions are meant to improve personal development. Have you considered any improvements on your lifestyle by creating resolutions for your office and business? With electrical systems, common goals focus on reducing energy bills and figuring out what to replace or update. Consider our three simple resolutions to help keep your business’s electrical system in optimal shape this year.

Shut Down Computes After Work Hours

Computers use a considerable amount of energy during work hours. As a business, you probably have multiple, dozens, or even hundreds running at the same time. Are computers left on after work hours? If so, your business could be potentially wasting an extensive amount of money just by leaving computers powered on. Turning your computers or running devices off during afterhours is one solution to be mindful of energy savings. Need to leave your computer on? To save energy, one solution is to leave computers on “sleep mode”.

Update Outdated Bulbs for LEDs

Business owners should highly consider LED light bulbs for their office. While LEDs may cost more upfront, your energy bills will not suffer. In fact, they use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. LED lights also last 35-50 times longer in comparison. Want to improve safety in your office? LEDs emit little heat and the danger for an electrical fire is greatly reduced.

Reduce Total Energy Consumption

The start of the year is the best time to ponder about ways to reduce bills and overall energy consumption. Below is a various list of ways to reach that goal:

Note: Remember, being mindful and aware of can go a long way in the present and especially the future. Make sure the electrical system electrical tips and usage is up to date with energy efficient appliances and items. Start and end the year saving money and/or cutting down bills by eliminating over usage of electricity and keeping up with necessary maintenance. Happy New Year!

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

17 Nov 2017
lighting

The Impact of Lighting on Workers and Productivity

Workers today are spending more of their time in the office. While investing more time at work can be beneficial, are workers productive? Companies that recognize the factors that help drive productivity get more out of their employees, which results to better service, effort, and higher revenue for a business. Lighting is one component in the office that has an on one’s physical and mental state. Explore our blog to see how lighting has a direct impact on workers and their productivity.

Color Temperature Effects on Workers

Different light temperatures influence our work environment.  Lower color temperatures (warm colors) are typically used in intimate settings to help create an atmosphere of comfort and ease. Mid-range color temperatures are generally implemented in conference rooms to bring a welcoming presence, but the coolness can help bolster alertness. Lastly, high color temperatures that are “cold” colored are utilized in rooms where employees can brainstorm. This type of lighting has the ability to improve alertness and mood and reduce fatigue.

Blue Light: Best Choice for Productivity

High color temperatures/cooler colored lights are the most beneficial for employee productivity. Sun light, or natural light is favorable for workers stuck in the office all day. From the beginning to the end of the day, natural light has the potential to decrease depression and negative thoughts and boost one’s mood and energy. Plus, blue light bulbs have the capability to reduce eye strain and melatonin. A lowered melatonin will help workers be alert as melatonin is what helps control your sleep and wake cycles.

All in all, the best area to implement blue lighting is in areas or rooms where employees brainstorm or host meetings. This will help them feel more excited and engage in discussion or sharing ideas.

Call Kirby Today to Improve your Office Lighting

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

 

19 Oct 2017
static electricitiy

The Effect of Static Electricity on Data and Business Electronics

Remember as a kid when you would rub a balloon on your sweater and lift it over your head to make your hairs stand? Static electricity occurs when two objects rub against each other as one object leases its electrons, becoming more positively charged, while the other collects electrons, becoming negatively charged. While the balloon example appears harmless, static electricity can be a danger as it can damage electronics and potentially initiate explosions. Read on to explore how static electricity can be potentially dangerous and how it can affect business electronics and data.

Static Shock Dangers

Creating static shock can be dangerous in particular situations. For one, gasoline or other airborne flammable materials in the air can create explosions when in contact with static shocks. In very rare, but possible situations, static shocks can be dangerous for those with pacemakers as well.

Static Electricity and Electronics

To ease the mind, it is rather quite unlikely that one would be injured from an encounter with static electricity, although that should not be counted out. On the other hand, computers, office machinery, and other electronics are more prone to damage caused by static discharge.

For one, electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the release of static electricity when two objects touch, in comparison to a scaled-down replica of lightening. ESD can be dangerous to circuit boards on the micro level. The reason being so, is energy from a shock reaches through the closest object, destroying integral elements along its path.

Ways to Prevent Damage to Equipment from Static Electricity

Other than being informed, it is imperative to understand the ways to prevent damage from static electricity to equipment. Try implementing the following preventative measures:

  • Make sure that technicians that work on electronic equipment should utilize a ESD wrist strap—It will help deplete charge away from circuitry
  • Do not use compressed air to clean circuit boards
  • To prevent static buildup, treat the carpets. If possible, invest in static proof mats if problem persists
  • Abstain from placing synthetic materials and items (ex: plastic, polystyrene) near electronic devices—these materials are known to cause static discharge
  • Apply only non-static forming sprays on electronic devices

Do not forget that static charges can potentially destroy electronic equipment. In order to avoid damage by static electricity, it is important to be precautious, informed, and aware. If needed, contact your electric company to make sure that your residence, office, or business is properly protected from power surges and electrical storms. Also, surge protectors can help ensure that your building and electrical systems are intact and correctly grounded. Lastly, having “Zones of Protection” in your building can make not only the electrical devices safer, but also the people and employees will be safe as well.

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.