Electrics: How to Spot Potential Risks or Problems

Electrical Equipment Testing in Schools

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Schools are usually high traffic areas and ensuring the safety of students, staff and other users is essential. One of the best ways to do this is by conducting frequent testing and tagging of electrical equipment. Equipment testing is the process where all electrical appliances within the institution are inspected for proper functioning to prevent the risk of fire hazards due to defects in appliances. Any faulty equipment is repaired or replaced. After testing, the equipment is tagged as proof that it was tested. A tag usually contains the following information about the electrical equipment: •    The date tested •    The next date for testing •    Unique asset identification •    Whether the equipment passed or failed the test •    The person who performed the test Which equipment should be tested? In some states, testing and tagging of electrical equipment in schools is compulsory. After the process, the results should be recorded and documented over the life of the appliances. Here are some of the equipment that should be tested and tagged: •    Portable outlets and power extensions •    All electrical appliances that are usually plugged into a low-voltage power supply •    Portable transformers •    Flexible cords that are connected to equipment in high-risk areas such as school workshops and laboratories •    Equipment that is exposed to conditions that can reduce its lifespan; for example, exposure to heat, humidity, vibrations, dust and chemicals •    Portable heavy-duty tools and equipment Hard-wired and fixed equipment that are attached to a wall or other permanent fixtures do not need to be tested either. How often should equipment be tested? Different states in Australia have guidelines specifying the period after which various types of electrical equipment in schools should be tested. You can refer to these standards with the help of the electrician in charge of testing to determine the appropriate time to test each equipment. They can also include the date on the tag after testing. Aside from the statutory requirement, equipment should be tested in the following instances: •    After equipment has been repaired or serviced; repairs can create problems with electrical equipment due to occasional mistakes and human error •    Second-hand appliances should also be tested before use After testing and tagging, a detailed report should be issued and documented for future testing and tagging procedures. Testing and tagging of electrical equipment in a school is essential to ensure the safety of its users. Hire a qualified testing electrician to ensure that a credible report is issued regarding the condition and safety of electrical equipment in the...

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4 Actions To Undertake If Your Power Goes Out At Home

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Plenty of factors can trigger a power outage. A car accident may snap power lines or a maintenance error at the power company can cause power failure. In other cases, your power may have simply tripped. Irrespective of the cause, the important thing is to stay calm. This guide is designed to help you undertake certain actions if your power goes out at home. Some causes may be simple enough to fix on your own, while others may require the services of an emergency electrician. Establish Whether Other Homes Have Gone Out In Your Neighbourhood The first thing you need to do is to determine whether your home is the only one without electricity. If your house is the only one that has gone out, then locate your fuse box and check for blown fuses and tripped switches. This could probably be the problem. If the whole neighbourhood has gone off, then the source of the problem may be from the power company. Reset Tripped Switches Or Replace Fuses On Fuse Box If the switch has tripped, simply reset it and your electricity should turn back on. If a fuse has blown, then you may need to get an emergency electrician to replace the fuse immediately. It’s always best to leave any electrical work to a professional, especially if you’re unfamiliar with handling the fuses around your home. If neither of these are the issue, then you may have another problem on your hands. Call Your Local Electricity Company If the problem isn’t inside your fuse box, then there may be a problem at your local electricity company.  You will find their number on any old power bill, so be sure to call them to see whether the problem is more widespread. If the problem is a maintenance error at the power company, then you may simply need to wait until they can fix it before your power gets restored once again. Inform The Electrical Company Of Downed Power Lines In Your Suburb  If there is no problem at the power company, then there could be downed electrical lines in your suburb, which you need to report to them. This can be potentially dangerous, so be sure to stay away from these power lines. You may also need to call the authorities to report this emergency. Keep your pets and children indoors because these downed electrical wires could be lethal. If you can fix a power failure on your own by simply resetting the switches, then go ahead and do so. If not, you will need an emergency electrician or your local power company to inspect and fix the...

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Professional Tips for Lighting a Beauty Salon

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Being a successful salon owner is no easy task. You may well have years of experience with cosmetic techniques such as facials, makeup application, and hair tinting, but if you can’t create a salon atmosphere that is appealing, you are unlikely to pull in a lot of dollar. Yes, you will have to invest in appropriate salon furniture and beautiful interior design, but something that is too often overlooked is the lighting within a salon. Salon lighting is especially important because it will light up your salon functionally so your staff can perform the treatments, but it will also set a mood within the salon, which is just as important. Getting these two things to work together is easier said than done, and you’ll need to lean on the talents of a skilled lighting designer and electrician to realise your ambitions for your salon. Here are a few things to keep in mind: Warm lighting tone is important. Think about the way you look in a dressing room with stark lighting. You want to run out of the dressing room there and then. Stark lighting that replicates the light of a sunny afternoon simply isn’t flattering and it’s best to find commercial LED lighting that is warmer in tone. Before you settle on a particular set of bulbs, it’s a good idea to educate yourself about the Kelvin scale. To create a warm and cosy atmosphere, opt for bulbs that are below 3000 on this scale. Lighting should render colour accurately. If you are working with colour at all in your salon, with things like hair tinting and colouring or applying makeup, it’s beyond important to have lighting that reflects the true colours of the pigments and dyes you are using, as well as the true colour of a person’s hair or skin tone. If you have ever applied makeup at home and then discovered you look like a clown when you leave the house, this is more than likely a reflection of your poor lighting rather than your makeup skills. To know whether your LED lights render colour well, you’ll need to consult the Colour Rendering Index (CRI). A high CRI number equals better colour rendering. Eliminate shadows. With light, there is always shadow, but you don’t want the shadows to fall on your client’s face, because this is unflattering. The key to eliminating these shadows is to have a range of lighting sources. You may want to mount wall lighting at each side of a mirror, above a mirror, and you may want to introduce some gentle overhead lighting as well. With more lighting fixtures, extra lights can actually light up the shadows produced by other light sources. Just remember to layer the commercial LED lights gently because you don’t want the client to feel like they are under a spotlight on the stage....

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Warning Signs of Electrical Malfunction in Your Home

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When it comes to electrical problems in the home, it is prudent to look out for any signs of malfunction and have the issues addressed posthaste. This is because something that may appear to be a simple fault can easily become exacerbated and compromise your entire electrical system. Here are some of the warning signs of electrical malfunction that would indicate you require the services of a licensed electrician. The Lights in Your Home Keep Flickering If you notice one of the lights in your home is flickering, chances are the problem may lie with the bulb itself. In this instance, you could opt to replace the bulb with a new one to see if this will correct the problem. However, if the flickering continues or it affects multiple lights in your residence, chances are the wiring in your home has sustained a fault. It would be best to hire an electrician to diagnose and remedy the problem to ensure the lights aren’t a safety hazard in your home. The Fuses in Your Home Keep Blowing An occasional blown fuse is something that homeowners will have to contend with. However, if you notice that you have to replace your fuses on a frequent basis, then there could be a serious underlying problem with your circuitry. Typically, your fuses will keep blowing on a regular basis if your electrical system is often overloaded. This may also occur if your circuit breaker is malfunctioning so it is unable to correct surges in electricity. An electrician will be able to decide whether you require additional outlets incorporated into your electrical system or if you need to have your circuit breaker replaced. The Outlets in Your Home Cause Minor Electrical Shocks If you experience a slight electrical shock either when plugging in appliances or switching on the lights, chances are there is a short occurring in your electrical system. There are two common causes for this. The first is when the wiring in your electrical system has become frayed, and the second is when the wiring no longer has the appropriate insulation to contain the electricity. Slight electrical shocks may seem like a minor inconvenience, but they pose a serious hazard in the home. Not only could they eventually lead to electrocution, but they could also cause a house fire if not addressed in good time by a qualified electrician. For more tips on how to spot electrical problems, consider contacting a local electrician or visiting the websites of local professionals,...

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The Benefits of Using Industrial Lighting in your Home

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When it comes to furnishing your new home, lighting makes all the difference. With the right placement and bulb-type chosen, lighting can warm up a home and make it more inviting. Lighting also serves different functions in different rooms of the house. For instance, lighting needs to be sharper in the kitchen than any other part of the house to ensure that people can see what they are doing at all times. Dull lighting may lead to unpleasant accidents, especially when an individual is using kitchen appliances. Industrial lights are now an option for homeowners to consider. Made to last while aging slowly, industrial lighting is created with the purpose of standing the test of time while saving energy. Listed below are 4 reasons why industrial lighting is the most beneficial option to have in your home. Lifespan  Traditional lighting sources burn out all at once when they have reached their maximum lifespan. However, industrial lighting fades out gradually. Unlike other lighting sources as well, industrial lights are made to last for 90,000 hours. That means that unlike the usual bulbs and lights that have to be changed every-so-often, industrial lights will be able to last for at least 10 years. Maintenance As mentioned above, the life span of using the industrial options eliminates the need for regular bulb changes. Additionally, industrial lights do not get hot, making it unnecessary for them to be wiped clean as dust will be unable to stick them. Immediate On During colder days or seasons, traditional lights need some time to warm up before reaching maximum illumination. Industrial lights, on the other hand, do not require a buffer time and flare up to maximum capacity the moment they are turned on. This saves time during nights and is hassle-free. Higher Light Quality Light has direct stimulating effects on the human body. Lower quality light tends to make people drowsy and inattentive. However, industrial lights produce a brighter light that keeps people sharp and focused. If you have a home-office, installing industrial lights in that room will keep you alert and productive. This is also a useful tip if you have children who need to study more. Installing industrial lighting in their rooms may make it easier for them to finish their homework on time. Conclusively, these benefits come at a cheaper price in the long-run. Industrial lighting is an environmentally-friendly way to keep your house well-lit. Due to their popularity, most electrical contractors offer them as part of their...

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Digital TV Antenna Installation Guide

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The process of installing an antenna for digital televisions can be pretty easy. However, there are a few things that every homeowner need to consider before taking on any installation project for a TV antenna. The location and quality of the signal are some of the factors that hugely impact this decision. Below are a few things you should consider when thinking of installing a digital TV antenna for your home use. Assess the Digital TV Signal Available at Your Location    Assessing the availability of digital signal can be fairly simple or complicated. The first thing would be to look at what other households in your neighbourhood are doing. If you find out that most of these houses have small antennas mounted on their roofs and particular types of antennas, it is most likely that similar configurations will work for you. In other areas, for the most part hilly or mountainous landscapes, more work may be required. A perfect place to start is the government’s mySwitch website where you can get insights on the digital TV coverage in your location. You are only required to provide your address and a predicted reception quality will be given depending on the terrain and distance from nearby digital TV transmitters. All you will need to do is to purchase a TV antenna with correct band coverage based on the recommendations from the website. Choose the Location and Type of TV Aerial Mount To some extent, the reception quality is responsible for determining the type of mount suitable in an area. Where you place the antenna does not really matter in areas with robust signal strength and good reception quality. However, you will get a better end result when the right location and type of mount are chosen. A rule of thumb would be choosing a location on the same side of the roof as the TV transmitters and placing the antenna higher. For those who have a digital TV signal strength meter, moving around up and down your roof can be helpful in determining the best possible location. Install the Antenna The next step would be to assemble the antenna. When assembling, it is strongly recommended that you follow the instructions provided for your particular antenna. It is important to ensure that the antenna is set to the correct polarisation for your local TV transmitters. For help, contact a professional TV antenna installation company. This way you will be able to have your antenna installed and aligned as best as possible....

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Attention Future Landlords: Remember To Check Your Electrical Appliances!

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Landlord property requirements vary, depending on the state and territory. However, a level of electrical safety is always a necessity. Regardless of where you live, before you lease your property and start accepting new tenants, you must ensure that all of your electrical goods are working correctly and safely. Failure to fix or replace faulty appliances could lead to substantial fines. Minimum Electrical Requirements Whenever you begin a new lease agreement, you should always remove, repair or replace any appliances that don’t work; check all of their fuses to ensure they’re the correct type and rating; and compile any operating instructions and safety warning notices. Structural electrical requirements include: Any exposed or faulty electrical wiring on the premises must be removed, fixed or replaced before the start of the tenancy agreement. The property must have a light source that illuminates the main entry point of the premises. This light must be operable from the interior. The property must have at least two professionally installed RCDs in order to protect the power points. A signed Electrical Safety Certificate must be issued for each of them. Smoke alarms must be less than 10 years old and meet the Australian Standard 3786-1993. Before tenants move in, smoke alarms must be cleaned, charged and tested. This process must be conducted on an annual basis. Even if the tenant lives in your property for more than one year, this is your responsibility. A compliance certificate must be issued for each smoke alarm, outlining their date of expiry and position. Failure to install and maintain a smoke alarm that abides by the Australian Standard could result in a $500 fine. Carrying Out Electrical Works When tenants move in, it’s their responsibility to report any electrical faults directly to you or your agent – they should not fix or replace any electrical goods themselves. However, that doesn’t absolve you of responsibility; your duties will continue for the duration of the lease agreement. If any electrical works need to be carried out, you and an engineer may enter the property, but only in the case of an emergency; otherwise, you must give prior notice. Even if you you have the knowledge and skills to fix or replace the faulty goods, you must always hire a licensed commercial electrician, such as one from a company like Combined Electrical Contractors Pty Ltd. Fundamentally, as a landlord you have a duty of care to ensure your property and tenants remain safe and secure....

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Some Features to Consider for a Home Automation System

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Home automation is more popular and more common than ever before; a home automation system will usually include the security features for the home but also controls over the thermostat, entryways, and even the plumbing system. Since they’re more affordable than ever, you might consider having such a system installed in your home for a variety of reasons. Note some features you may want to consider including and why they can be beneficial for you. 1. Temperature controls One reason to have an automated system tied into the thermostat and temperature controls is that you can easily adjust the thermostat during the day while you’re away. You may want to raise the thermostat as the outside temperature drops, so that your houseplants and pets are warm and secure, but then lower the thermostat once it gets warm again. You can keep your furnace or air conditioner off during the day but then turn it on as you leave the office, so the home is comfortable without your appliances running for hours in an empty house. Having this type of control can mean not wasting energy and can also mean not contributing to neighborhood brownouts, since you can monitor your energy consumption during peak usage hours. 2. Shading Your home’s shades can be tied in with the automation system and this too can add to the comfort of your home while you’re away. You may want to close the blinds as the sun comes up to avoid having the home become too warm but then open them again in the later afternoon, before you arrive home. Automated shades can also make your home look occupied; a potential thief may see the shades raise and lower at different times and may not realize that the home is empty.  3. Plumbing  A home automation system can be connected to faucets in the home, and this can help you to keep pipes from freezing in the wintertime. If the temperature drops unexpectedly while you’re away, you can turn on a faucet to a slow trickle and keep the water flowing. If your children are home alone, you can ensure they don’t keep the water running absentmindedly, and in turn, save on your water costs.  4. Lighting Having control of your lights from a remote access pad or panel can make it easier for you to ensure that lights are never left on in an unoccupied space. You can turn on lights randomly while traveling so the home looks occupied, or turn on dim lights in areas of your home as the sun sets. This can set a relaxing mood and keep a space safely illuminated without having to get up and turn on or off all the lights in the...

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Bits & Bytes: How to Better Understand What You Need from Your Data Services

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When you are choosing your data service plan to suit your individual needs, how do you know what plan is right for you? Moreover, how do you talk to the professionals to ensure that you are having the proper services wired to your home or office?  The fact is, if you don’t know the lingo, you might only find out that you’ve made a mistake when an astronomical bill arrives in your inbox. Or, you might spend months or even years paying for services that you don’t need and never use. What You’ll Use The first thing you need to do is figure out the services that you will require from your Internet connection. If you don’t know, monitor your internet usage for a week to find out. For example: Do you stream a lot of video online?  Is reliable email crucial to your organization?  Are you building and maintaining your website in-house?  Is there a probability that you will need to do these things in the future? All of these questions can indicate that you need a higher speed connection with unlimited access to data. If none of the above questions applies to you, you may want to explore a lower limit plan to avoid tying up funds that you could invest in other aspects of your business. The Tech Talk You’ll need to know a few key words to have an intelligent conversation with the professional installing your service. A Bit measures the speed of your connection, and will be displayed whenever you are downloading data from the Internet. If you do a lot of downloading and need it done quickly, ask the professional installing your system if there are speed upgrades available. Expressed as a lowercase b,  other units include kilobits (Kb) and megabits (Mb). A Byte measures the actual data that is transferred along your connection. This is what actually affects your data cap if your plan has one, so have an in-depth talk about your Byte usage with your carrier prior to selecting your services.  Expressed as an uppercase B, other units include kilobytes (KB) and megabytes (MB). Any time you download OR upload something, exchanging data between the internet and your hardware, you are taking a chunk out of your BYTES. This is, ultimately, where most consumers see an unexpected hike in their bill. Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the bytes you need, and you can be sure data service providers will wire in the appropriate system for you. Learn more about your options by contacting companies like Austec...

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Home Update and Installation Jobs That Are Better Left to an Electrician

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It may not be necessary to call an electrician every time you buy a new lamp or electronic piece you might hook up to your entertainment centre, but there are some updates and installations that are often better left to such a professional. This is because connecting certain electrical devices can often be more complicated than you may realize. Note a few times when you want to call for an electrician for updates and installations in your home. 1. Installing a new ceiling fan Installing a new ceiling fan can be more difficult than you realize, as you need to connect the bare wires from the fan to the wires in your ceiling. This needs to be done properly, with the right caps on the wires, so that the weight of the fan doesn’t pull on the wires and separate them. It’s also good to have a professional do this for you since a new fan may need more power than older wiring can support. An electrician can test the wattage and visually inspect the wiring to note if it’s in good condition and right for a new fan and light fixture. 2. Installing large components in a home theatre You can bring home a new DVD player and plug this into your television without a problem, but if you’re installing large components or are setting up a new home theatre, call an electrician. Like a new ceiling fan, your home’s wiring may not be able to support all the power that a new flat-screen TV, Internet modem, video game player and all these other components will need. You may actually need a new circuit installed in your home to support the entertainment centre itself. An electrician can also ensure that surge protectors are installed to protect these devices. 3. Upgraded kitchen appliances Today’s kitchen appliances often offer a large number of functions; a refrigerator may automatically adjust its own temperature and a dishwasher may fill water automatically according to the load it senses. All these functions may require more electrical power to operate. If you were to bring home a new, upgraded refrigerator and just plug it in, you may see it blow the circuit often or suffer brownouts.  If your new appliances are upgraded in any way or offer these updated features, call an electrician to test the wiring before bringing them home. If necessary, he or she may want to rewire the circuits in your kitchen. They may also upgrade the wiring to ensure that your kitchen gets the power it...

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