Smoke Detector Check & Fire Prevention

  • By amp.electric
  • 12 Mar, 2017

It is important to be proactive in making sure your home has the least amount of electrical fire risk as possible.

Norton Shores MI Fire Prevention With Smoke Detection
Norton Shores MI Fire Prevention With Smoke Detection

Twice a year, at the start and end of Daylight Savings Time, it is recommended to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.  Consider this your friendly reminder to replace those batteries!!


Here are a few other things that you should consider when it comes to smoke detectors and fire safety!


Does my home have enough smoke detectors?

There should be one outside each bedroom within 10 feet of the door, at least one on each level of your home, and often in the peak of a cathedral ceiling.  Most homes end up needing 5-7 smoke detectors.


Do I need to replace my smoke detectors?

The life expectancy of most smoke detectors is 10 years.  If your smoke detectors are older, you should check with the manufacturer to find out how often they recommend replacing them.


What are interconnected smoke detectors?

Fire safety and electrical code requires that the smoke detectors in your home are interconnected.  What this means is that if a smoke detector in one part of your home alerts, all of the detectors throughout the home will also go off.  Ex.  If there is smoke in your basement, the basement detector will let all the detectors in the house know and they will go off in unison.  The inexpensive “stick-on-the-wall” detectors do not meet these requirements, although they certainly are better than not having any detectors in your home.


What are things I can do to prevent electrical fires?

As many homes age, the electrical system ages as well.  It is important to make sure your electrical service panel and wiring is updated.  If there are open splices in your attic, crawlspace, or basement, those need to be addressed. Having dedicated circuits for large appliances can help prevent overloading on the wiring.s  It i a good idea to have an electrical inspection done on your home, especially if your home is more than 20 years old.  A certified electrician can look at your home’s electrical system and let you know of any fire hazards they see and discuss the best way to remedy those hazards!


What are red flags I should call an electrician for?

  • Fuse boxes - are entirely outdated and need to be updated for the safety of your family and your home.
  • Open splices - exposed wiring that is wire-nutted or twisted together is very unsafe.  All connections are supposed to be in appropriate electrical boxes.
  • Overloaded panel - if your breaker box is full and/or there are tandem (double) breakers being used, you need to get a larger panel or have a subpanel put in.
  • Intermittent electrical problems - It is more dangerous for an electrical problem to come and go than it is to have something stop working all together.  For example, if a breaker trips or a fuse blows, it is doing its job to prevent too much power from being used on that wire.  If an outlet or light is working sometimes and not at other times, it is possible there is sparking in your walls!  All of these types of issues need to be addressed, but some are more dangerous than others.


What are other fire safety things I should think about?

If you have any basement bedrooms, it is required that there are egress-sized windows in the bedrooms to allow for safe exit from the basement in the event of a fire.  If you have second story bedrooms, consider buying a rope ladder that is stored in each bedroom that can be used to safety exit a second story window.


Here at Amp Electric, we take your safety seriously.  Your family deserves the same safety as our families.  If you have questions about the safety of the electrical in your home, please call us for a FREE estimate to make your electrical system safer!  It is important to be proactive in making sure your home has the least amount of electrical fire risk as possible.

Shocking News

By amp.electric 12 Oct, 2017
There are several common brands of generators used for backup on-demand power.  Generac, Honda, Yamaha, Cummins, Siemens, Briggs & Stratton, Honeywell, and several others.   Generac generators, however, have a fantastic track record for their reliable performance.   Generac sells five times as many generators as all their competitors combined!   This means that their long history of selling generators since 1959 has led them to a product of quality and reliability. 

One reason why Amp Electric has chosen to be a Generac dealer is because of their large selection of generators.  This  allows us to give you the perfect generator for your situation.   Read more about some of their different models including PowerPact , Synergy , and Guardian series.  Don't be overwhelmed though, because Amp Electric is here to help you select the generator that best meets your needs.

The intention of having an automatic backup generator for your home, is that within seconds of a power outage, the generator will kick in and supply power to your electrical panel.  These generators run off your natural gas or propane, essentially an "unlimited" fuel source.  This means that without you even being home, your fridge, freezer, furnace, and sump pumps will continue to run as normal!  You need a reliable product that you can count on!
By amp.electric 03 Oct, 2017

What is an electrical service?

There is a lot to your electrical service.  Your electrical service refers to the pipe (metal or pvc), the meter (from the power company), the wires inside the pipe, your electrical panel (breakers or fuses), and your grounding system.  Your service is measured in Amps.  The most common residential service sizes are: 60 amps, 100 amps, 200 amps.  Although you may have a size in between these (like 150 amps), these are the most common.

What is a service upgrade?

A service upgrade refers to making sure your electrical service is up-to-date and up-to-code!  Often this means replacing a small fuse box to a modern panel with breakers. It may be that you already have breakers, but they too are old and outdated, or you need more power for your home.  A full service upgrade replaces the pipe on the outside of your home, the wires inside that pipe, the meter, the wires going from the meter to your panel, the panel itself, the breakers inside the panel, and updating your grounding system with ground rods, communication ground, water ground, etc.  

By amp.electric 13 Sep, 2017

With two massive hurricanes affecting the U.S. in recent weeks, it’s been hard to miss the news of the devastation.  Aside from the loss of life, the amount of infrastructure that will need to be rebuilt is overwhelming.  Tens of thousands of people across Texas were without power for more than a week and in Florida and the East Coast over six million people were without power.  We are fortunate to live in West Michigan where our storm damage is not usually so severe, but even we have seen our share of wind related damage this year.

Are you ready for a long-term power outage?  The inconvenience of losing power is obvious, but also the loss of food in refrigerators and freezers, going without a/c or heat, medical equipment, well water not working… these are all things that can affect our health and well-being when we are without power for a period of time.

Amp Electric is proud to say that we are a Generac generator dealer.  We install Generac generators because of their reputation and reliability.  What that means for you is that we can help you install a backup generator system in your home to keep your home running safely and smoothly even during a power outage.  

By amp.electric 12 Mar, 2017

Twice a year, at the start and end of Daylight Savings Time, it is recommended to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.  Consider this your friendly reminder to replace those batteries!!


Here are a few other things that you should consider when it comes to smoke detectors and fire safety!


Does my home have enough smoke detectors?

There should be one outside each bedroom within 10 feet of the door, at least one on each level of your home, and often in the peak of a cathedral ceiling.  Most homes end up needing 5-7 smoke detectors.


Do I need to replace my smoke detectors?

The life expectancy of most smoke detectors is 10 years.  If your smoke detectors are older, you should check with the manufacturer to find out how often they recommend replacing them.


What are interconnected smoke detectors?

Fire safety and electrical code requires that the smoke detectors in your home are interconnected.  What this means is that if a smoke detector in one part of your home alerts, all of the detectors throughout the home will also go off.  Ex.  If there is smoke in your basement, the basement detector will let all the detectors in the house know and they will go off in unison.  The inexpensive “stick-on-the-wall” detectors do not meet these requirements, although they certainly are better than not having any detectors in your home.


What are things I can do to prevent electrical fires?

As many homes age, the electrical system ages as well.  It is important to make sure your electrical service panel and wiring is updated.  If there are open splices in your attic, crawlspace, or basement, those need to be addressed. Having dedicated circuits for large appliances can help prevent overloading on the wiring.s  It i a good idea to have an electrical inspection done on your home, especially if your home is more than 20 years old.  A certified electrician can look at your home’s electrical system and let you know of any fire hazards they see and discuss the best way to remedy those hazards!


What are red flags I should call an electrician for?

  • Fuse boxes - are entirely outdated and need to be updated for the safety of your family and your home.
  • Open splices - exposed wiring that is wire-nutted or twisted together is very unsafe.  All connections are supposed to be in appropriate electrical boxes.
  • Overloaded panel - if your breaker box is full and/or there are tandem (double) breakers being used, you need to get a larger panel or have a subpanel put in.
  • Intermittent electrical problems - It is more dangerous for an electrical problem to come and go than it is to have something stop working all together.  For example, if a breaker trips or a fuse blows, it is doing its job to prevent too much power from being used on that wire.  If an outlet or light is working sometimes and not at other times, it is possible there is sparking in your walls!  All of these types of issues need to be addressed, but some are more dangerous than others.


What are other fire safety things I should think about?

If you have any basement bedrooms, it is required that there are egress-sized windows in the bedrooms to allow for safe exit from the basement in the event of a fire.  If you have second story bedrooms, consider buying a rope ladder that is stored in each bedroom that can be used to safety exit a second story window.


Here at Amp Electric, we take your safety seriously.  Your family deserves the same safety as our families.  If you have questions about the safety of the electrical in your home, please call us for a FREE estimate to make your electrical system safer!  It is important to be proactive in making sure your home has the least amount of electrical fire risk as possible.
By amp.electric 03 Dec, 2016
Power surge??? What is that?
Your home runs on a very specific amount of electricity.  A power surge is when the power in your home is above safe levels.

What can a power surge do to my house?
When your home has a power surge happen to it, the result can be dangerous.  Electronic devices are easily damaged by having to much electricity pumped into them and can make them fire hazards.  A burnt plastic smell that you cannot seem to find but magically seems to dissipate can be a clue that your house electricity spiked high for a short time.  Power surges can happen any time... even if you are not using any power at all.

What can be damaged by a power surge to my home?
Considering everything is connected, devices that are plugged into your home electrical system are all subject to excess electrical surges.  Here is a short list of just some of the items in a home that will either get burnt out or have a shorter life span from a power surge...
  • computers
  • tablets
  • televisions
  • game consoles
  • internet modems
  • routers
  • smoke detectors
  • wiring in the walls
  • stereo systems
  • intercoms
  • furnaces
  • air conditioners
  • water heaters
  • cell phone chargers
  • cell phones
  • led light bulbs
  • car chargers
  • electric cars
  • freezers
  • fridges
  • microwaves
  • dishwashers
  • dimmers
  • ceiling fans
  • fan controls
  • AND ANYTHING THAT IS CONNECTED TO HOME POWER...

What causes power to surge into my home?
Lightening strikes, power company connection, and equipment inside your home.  Lightening strike is the most obvious reason and also the most damaging.  Power company connection is from equipment malfunctioning and sending too much power to you.  Power company connection also can be from a tree limb falling on the power lines, connecting lines in a configuration that was never intended to happen.  The power line connection to your home is connected for hundreds of miles so the liability of having a power surge is very high.  Equipment in your home can cause power fluctuations.  We have all experienced this one... something comes on in your house and your lights dim and or get brighter.

Does my home have protection to help regulate the amount of power it has?
Our default answer is NO!  Homes do not have a power regulator built into them.  You have to provide your own protection from surges.  We all have the surge protector strips but often for just the convenience of the extra outlets.  The few items plugged into the surge protector strips have some safety from power surges.

OK OK... What CAN I DO to protect my home?
Amp Electric West MI can install a WHOLE HOUSE SURGE PROTECTOR .  The whole house surge protector is integrated into your main electrical panel.  The reason the main electrical panel is the best place to integrate power surge protection is it is the central distribution point of all the power going throughout your house.  Install a professional surge protector into the main electrical panel and inherently you're protecting 100% of your house electrical.  The whole house protector gets its name for exactly what it does... protects everything in your house from one central location from harmful power surges.   The whole house protector protects even the wiring in your walls!

What is the cost of this high level of protection for my house?
The installation of whole house surge protection is less than a high end surge strip... generally only $350 (and that's including installation!)  We highly recommend having the whole house version and still using your surge strips for double the protection at the important locations throughout your home.

Amp Electric West MI installs whole house surge protection in Norton Shores and surrounding areas....

My No Hassle, No Excuses, NO NONSENSE, You Will ll Love it OR We Will Pay For it! GUARANTEE...


"You must be absolutely delighted by our services! If for any reason, or no reason at all, you feel you are not absolutely, positively happy with our work, I WILL NOT BE HAPPY EITHER. That means I WILL NOT REST until we make it right... I will immediately send my team to fix the problem no questions asked!  If it is still not good enough we will pay a competitor of your choosing to fix it for you. That is how strongly I believe you will love what we do... Let us prove it to you!"  

-Joseph Cutshall, Founder Amp Electric West MI


About us... Amp Electric West MI electricians have been helping homeowners and businesses have worry free electrical in the Norton Shores metro area for over 10 years. We have the strongest guarantee in the state...  GUARANTEED!

Service Areas... Norton Shores, Muskegon, North Muskegon, Spring Lake, Grand Haven, Walker, Allendale, Hudsonville, Jenison,  and surrounding areas...


10 Reasons Why You Should Choose Us Over the Other Guys...
OUR NO RISK GUARANTEE... means absolutely NO RISK to try us.
WE HAVE THE HIGHEST RATINGS...  in Norton Shores MI. Just look at our Google Reviews!
WE SHOW UP WHEN WE SAY... and provide you with set appointments.  
YOU CAN CALL US ANYTIME... 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
WE PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY... with our 2,000,000 dollar insurance policy.
WE CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS... and have a strict quality control program.
WE SPEAK ENGLISH... All employees are English speaking US citizens.
WE SCREEN OUR EMPLOYEES... Every employee goes through a background check.
WE CARRY WORKERS COMP... If an employee is injured on your property, it is covered.
WE ARE LICENSED SPECIALISTS... our management and staff are professionals.
WE HAVE 25 PLUS YEARS EXPERIENCE... and are family owned!

By amp.electric 26 Nov, 2016
The newest energy reduction technology is hitting the commercial lighting world and making a huge impact.  The new technology is actually just the latest development in LED taking over the lighting market place.  The new light technology is called LED COB lights.  

What are LED "Cob" lights?
C
hip O n B oard... the most recent development in LED technology using chips with multiple diodes.

Can my business benefit from Cob light retrofits?

Yes!  These lights produce a better light output for only 75-90% the cost to operate.  They do not use 2/3 of the components the old standard of HID lights used so the reduction in maintenance can pay for the light conversion.  The drastically less cost to operate is huge icing on the cake.  In fact, the best time to change your lighting over to these LED cob lights is during your normal maintenance of the old lights. 

Which conversion kit, how do I convert over, how much?  
Amp Electric West MI can make your led cob upgrade simple and easy.  We will match you with the correct conversion kit for your application, we will install with our professional lighting upgrade service, and the best part... the LEDs pay from themselves over time so... they are practically FREE!  Amp Electric West MI would be very grateful to provide you with a free personal estimate for your business.

Advantages...
  • Save per month on energy...  cost to operate is 75-90% less than HID
  • Save on maintenance costs... led is the longest lasting technology on the market
  • Light quality is better... often gain brightness over the comparable HID equivalent
  • Instant on!... no more waiting for bulbs to cool off or start up for brightness
  • Run cool... drastic less heat produced when operating
  • Reduced strain... existing electrical systems last long by having to do less
  • Quiet... compared to HID the LED Cob lights are completely silent
By amp.electric 20 Nov, 2016
What is knob and tube?  It is the first standardized method of electrical wiring in buildings, in common use in North America from about 1880 to the 1930s.  An ancient electrical system for a time long ago.

When did they stop installing knob and tube?  It was commonly installed up until 1940.  The cost to install became higher than the multi-conductor wire and eventually became no long installed.

Does my house have knob and tube?  If your house is older than 1950, then there is a very likely chance your home still has knob and tube wiring hiding inside the walls.

What is the disadvantages of knob and tube wiring?  

1) Knob and tube wiring is ungrounded – with a hot wire and a neutral wire only – it uses no ground wire. There is absolutely no protection whatsoever when a fault occurs.  Shocks and fires can easily result from faults caused by knob and tube wiring.

2) Knob and tube wiring uses sheathing for insulation and both of these disintegrate easily over time. Buildings that contain this type of wiring are old, the problem is increased. Current day wiring uses much better insulation materials that are much safer.

3) Older electrical systems use a 60 amp service but the wire is fused with 15 amps. This means that more current is flowing through the wire than it is meant to handle, leading to excessive heat and possible fire.

4) Older electrical systems didn’t carry high ampacity loads and these extra loads cause the insulation to become brittle, exposing bare wire and the capacity to overheat which can cause fires.

5) Older systems that use knob and tube wiring also use two-prong receptacles, restricting the use of small kitchen appliances. Since there is no ground wire, there is increased chance of shock and injury, especially around areas where water is prevalent. Kitchens and bathrooms are especially at risk.

6) Knob and tube wiring used "open splice" connections that offer zero protection from combustible materials if a short happens in your walls.

Can knob and tube be replaced?   YES!  Amp Electric West MI can offer a free quote to fully replace your knob and tube wiring.   We have some none invasive technics that we can use to reduce the cost of such replacements!

Amp Electric West MI services knob and tube homes in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Coopersville, Allendale, Walker, Nunica, North Muskegon, Muskegon, and our hometown of Fruitport MI.

We have a worry free GUARANTEE!

"You must be absolutely delighted by our services! If for any reason, or no reason at all, you feel you are not absolutely, positively happy with our work, I WILL NOT BE HAPPY EITHER. That means I WILL NOT REST until we make it right... I will immediately send my team to fix the problem no questions asked! If it is still not good enough we will pay a competitor of your choosing to fix it for you. That is how strongly I believe you will love what we do... Let us prove it to you!"
  -Joseph Cutshall, Founder Amp Electric West MI

10 REASONS TO CHOOSE US FOR YOUR KNOB AND TUBE REPLACEMENT!
  • OUR NO RISK GUARANTEE...   means absolutely NO RISK to try us.
  • WE HAVE THE HIGHEST RATINGS...   in Norton Shores MI. Just look at our Google Reviews!
  • WE SHOW UP WHEN WE SAY...   and provide you with set appointments.    
  • YOU CAN CALL US ANYTIME...   24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • WE PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY...   with our 2,000,000 dollar insurance policy.
  • WE CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS...   and have a strict quality control program.
  • WE SPEAK ENGLISH...   All employees are English speaking US citizens.
  • WE SCREEN OUR EMPLOYEES...   Every employee goes through a background check.
  • WE CARRY WORKERS COMP...   If an employee is injured on your property, it is covered.
  • WE ARE LICENSED SPECIALISTS...   our management and staff are professionals.
  • WE HAVE 25 PLUS YEARS EXPERIENCE...   and are family owned!


By amp.electric 09 Nov, 2016
The national electrical code is very proactive towards the future.  Electric car charge stations make a surge in the electrical code.  The 120 volt chargers require dedicated power and the faster 240 volt chargers full up very fast.  The future is here and we start to make the power for the chargers for each garage stall space.  The code requires each stall to have a plug just for the new electric cars!  The requirement is in place so the last thing to do is get the new car!  We think this is very exciting and look forward to always leaving the house on a full tank.  Hopefully, the charge lasts longer than our cell phones!
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