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.

05 Apr 2018
power strip

Discover the Correct Way to Use a Power Strip

Nowadays, current home devices require some source of power. Having power strips and extension cords are beneficial because a home only has a certain amount of outlets. It is important to understand that incorrectly utilizing a power strip can potentially cause electrical damage to the strip itself and plugged in home devices. Read on to discover the safest and correct way to use a power strip.

Power Strip vs Extension Cord

First, there is a difference between a power strip and an extension cord. A power strip is a single length of a cable, which features a plug on one end and a line of sockets inserted in a plastic box on the other end. Extension cords are relatively similar, but are considerably longer and include only two to three plugs. It is important to note that extension cords are less stable and used for hours on end. On the other hand, a power strip can be used over a period of a few days.

Important Information to Know

Power strips are evidently easy to use (plug and use), but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • They are intended to handle small loads: a power strip allows one to use many devices all at the same time. However, they are not intended to power large or major home appliances such as a space heater or oven.
  • Pay attention to different voltage ratings: when selecting a power strip, find one that fulfills your voltage needs. If not, exceeding the maximum voltage on a strip can cause electrical fires and malfunctioning appliances.
  • Be mindful about avoiding extended use: although power strips have the capacity to power devices for a few days and potentially up to two weeks, they are not a proper replacement for electrical outlets. Likewise, overuse will cause the power strip to fail and defect plugged in devices.
  • Surge protection device: Make sure a power strip includes a surge protection device, which can be discovered on the box and by a small light or switch indicator. It protects the equipment if a short or surge happens.
  • Do not plug them into another power extension: If you plug in power strips or extensions into one another, the power becomes weaker and less stable. Worst of all, it can result to device damage and cause an electrical fire.

Overall, power strips and extension cords are excellent for powering up a home with multiple devices at the same time. Equally important, it is imperative to pay attention to voltage ratings, length of use, and being proactive. Correctly using a power strip means a safer home!

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.

26 Feb 2018
electrical damage

Malfunctioning Appliances can Cause Electrical Damage

Whether it is due to over usage, disrepair, or need of replacement, home appliances eventually experience problems. The contrary belief is the appliance alone will experience trouble, but faulty appliances may cause greater problems to your electrical system. . Damages can range from simple wear and tear to a catastrophic electrical fire. Read on to discover how malfunctioning appliances can cause electrical damage and what you should do if a serious problem is detected.

What can Happen?

When malfunctioning appliances start to fizzle, it sends an enormous amount of electricity to the electrical system. This will cause the circuit breaker to trip, which is the first sign of a problem and also recognized as a safety mechanism.

The circuit breaker should not be flipped on when the root of the problem is not discovered. This can result to even more inconvenient electrical damages to deal with (such as surge, physical, and fire damage).

Surge Damage

Is there a surge protector or whole-home surge protection in your home for everyday use electronics? This particular technology secures sensitive microprocessors that can be easily impaired from power surges. For example, refrigerators and air conditioners use a surplus amount of energy when in use. Then, other home appliances that are sharing the same circuit receive surges of power. With malfunctioning appliances, they can potentially send bigger surges.

As a result, microprocessor-based electronics may experience instant permanent damage. In other cases, they may experience damage over time, reducing an appliance’s lifespan.

Physical Damage

When large surges occur, they can burn connectors in light switches, electrical outlets, and other given electrical components. Moreover, it only takes a fraction of a second for a flash like this to make an outlet or switch defective.  We strongly encourage you to contact a licensed electrician to assist with replacing damaged components and configuring other electrical problems.

Fire Damage

In the worst of events, a malfunctioning appliance can lead to an electrical short that stimulates a fire.  In metal appliances, tiny fires can occur and flicker on their own. Based on where these tiny fires take place, they can inflame curtains, wallpaper, insulation, or other materials that may cause them to rapidly spread.  Keep fire extinguishers and smoke detectors in sight to be proactive in case of a disaster or fire occurrence.

Remember:  It is important to discover the root of the problem in appliances. Call an expert to help figure out appliance failures during the earliest stages of detected malfunction. This can save you from further problems and potential life-threatening situations.

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.

13 Dec 2017
holiday lights

Safety Guide for Holiday Lights

Holiday lights instantly transform a home during the holiday season. In 1882, the very first holiday light was created and homeowners have been decorating their homes with holiday lights since the 1930s. Now, there are numerous variations for holiday lights in style, size, and color selections to participate in the festive spirit. With so many selections, which lights are the best and safest lighting options for your home? Explore our blog to discover the best and worst holiday lights with valuable safety tips.

Best Option: LED

The best choice for holiday lights are LED lights. Not only are they energy efficient, but they have a long life cycle and are safe. LED lights also last approximately 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and consume 75 percent less electricity. Another benefit is LED lights increase safety with a lowered risk of a possible fire as they produce minimal heat. Best of all, though LED lights cost more than traditional incandescent lights, you will be saving money in the future as LEDs use less energy and do not need to be replaced as often.

Worst Option: C-9 Retro Bulbs

C-9 light bulbs are typically large with a bright light and retro aesthetic. The downside to these lightbulbs is they get dangerously hot and use a great deal of energy. For your own safety, you need to periodically check C-9 bulbs for excess heat production due to the possibility of a fire or electrical short. If you plan to use your holiday lights all night, you can expect your energy bills to increase.

Safety Tips:

  • Never nail or staple light strings to roofs, walls, and/or baseboards (this can impair wire insulation)
  • Hang lights over nails for exterior lighting, use hanging clips for interior lighting
  • Use a timer for holiday lights to help reduce energy usage or dangers of a fire
  • Make sure to use outdoor lights outdoors and indoor lights indoors- exterior lights will produce too much heat for indoor usage and in order to use lights outdoors, they must be weather-resistant (double check to see if lights are safe for both outdoors and indoors)

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.