Tag Archives: safety

Whole House What Protector?

whole house protection

A whole house surge protector is a device that protects your electronics from electrical surges from outside sources. We’ve been seeing a lot of outages and electrical surges in Kansas City due to a variety of causes including:

  • lightning strikes
  • damage to electric lines
  • repairs to electric lines

How Do Whole House Surge Protectors Work?

Electricity follows what is called electrical potential, or a “path” from a positive terminal to negative terminal. Another name for the negative terminal is “ground.” Electricity will always move toward the lowest potential, the negative terminal, the ground. Whole house surge protectors route large and sudden surges of electric current into a dedicated ground line. This keeps surges from going into your electronic devices throughout your house.

Do I Need a Whole House Surge Protector?

Absolutely, the average home in Kansas City experiences around 4-5 power surges a day. While most surges originate from inside the house, those that don’t (like lightning strikes) have the potential to cause major damage to any gadgets and appliances you have plugged in. Just think about how many electronics you have in your household! They are worth protecting.

Can I Use Power Strips Instead?

Power strips are great for protecting a few select devices. However, to better protect everything you have plugged into your electrical system, you should use a whole house surge protector. Power strips play an important role in protecting against small surges in your house, they aren’t built to handle the larger surges. Think of it like wearing a jacket and a long-sleeve shirt on a snowy day, they work better together than individually.

If you’re interested in protecting yourself from damage caused by surges, click here or call (913) 648-9487.

5 Warning Signs that Your Home’s Electrical System Is Outdated

Electrical-service-outdated-fusion-electric-kc-kansas-city

Do you ever wonder if your electrical system needs updating? Probably not, but it’s summertime and your air conditioner requires a lot of power which puts an extra strain on your electrical system. How do you figure out if you need electrical updates? Here are 5 signs your electrical service is outdated, meaning that you may need an upgrade!

1. Home Built Before 1980

Older homes hold so much charm and beauty, but if your home’s birthday is prior to 1980, it’s probably time for an upgrade to copper wiring. Homes built before then typically used aluminum wiring or wiring with a rubberized fabric wrapped around it. This can lead to wires coming loose or fraying, which means shorts and potentially, fires.

2. You See Your Circuit Breaker Box More Than Your Friends

Constantly running to the circuit breaker box to reset the circuits when drying your hair or when you start an appliance? Chances are, you are overloading your system and are in need of an electrician to assess your circuits and wiring.

Related Read: 4 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Electrical DIY

3. House Appears Haunted

Are lights going dim on their own? Do they flicker when you plug in and start the vacuum cleaner? This probably isn’t the work of resident ghosts in the home, but another good indicator that the circuits and wiring need upgrading.

4. Cords, Cords Everywhere!

Are extension cords a staple in your home decor? The need for multiple extension cords suggests not enough outlets in the home or not the right kind of outlets, both of which mean that it’s a good time to contact an electrician to assess your home’s system.

5. Angry Outlets

Outlets that are hot to the touch, make popping or buzzing sounds, or have black marks on the outlet covers are all signs of a serious problem with your electrical system. Outlets should blend in with your home. Any outlet that displays noticeable activity is not a happy outlet, and should be treated as very dangerous. Call an electrician immediately.

Related Read: Outlet Not Working? 3 Possible Reasons Why

 

If any of these things sound familiar, please contact Fusion Electric today! We serve the entire Kansas City area and want to ensure you have a safe and efficient home!

4 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Electrical DIY

 

ditch-the-electrical-DIY-fusion-electric-kansas-city-electricianFrom Pinterest to Facebook, do-it-yourself projects are popping everywhere these days. With lists and lists of seemingly easy projects at your disposal, many believe that they can take on just about any project with a little help from the internet.

However, DIY electrical projects are a very different story and can be incredibly dangerous, which is why the professionals at Fusion Electric are shedding some light on why it’s time to ditch the DIY.

Already given up on electrical DIY? Learn how Fusion Electric can solve all your electrical needs!

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Whether you’re hoping to install outdoor lighting and speakers around the pool, or looking to hide cords and connectors while putting out your Christmas decorations, even the simplest job can go wrong when electricity is involved. Here are just a few ways electrical DIY can turn disastrous:

1. Hidden Hazards

When dealing with electrical issues, there are many hidden hazards. Whether it’s running into the family of racoons in the attic, or unintentionally crossing the wrong wires, there are always risks to consider.

While you may never see these hazards coming, professional electricians are trained to look for a laundry list of things to ensure safe electrical servicing and their own safety. Avoid the guessing game and leave projects you’re unsure of to the professionals.

2. Improper Installation

Improper installation can not only cause fires and damage your home, it can also permanently damage the equipment you are trying to install, whatever it may be. This damage can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements for your home.

3. Would it Pass Inspection?

Spending time and money on a DIY electrical project can not only be dangerous, but if not done properly, it  may fail inspections.

We see homeowners who go through all the trouble of adding electrical to bonus rooms and additions themselves, all to find out that when they want to sell their home, these DIY add ons don’t meet the requirements to pass inspections. This can end up costing you thousands of dollars to repair, and it all could have been avoided by hiring a professional electrician.

4. Injury & Fatality

Most homeowners have little knowledge of the safety precautions and details of dealing with electrical maintenance, and why would they?

However, when homeowners try to DIY without extensive knowledge, any number of injuries can happen including severe burns, electrocution, and even death in some cases. Luckily, there are professionals who are highly trained in this industry, and your safety is well worth the extra money required to hire a trained professional.

Related Read: Stop the DIY! Why You Need to Call an Electrician

“Great service shouldn’t be shocking!”

When you finally decide it’s time to ditch the DIY, give the professionals at Fusion Electric a call. We offer a full line of commercial and residential services, including indoor and outdoor lighting, safety inspections, and upgrades in service.

We are locally owned and operated, and serve the entire Kansas City Metro Area. Give us a call and make Fusion Electric your go-to source for all of your electrical needs.

 

Contact Fusion Electric to set up an appointment, and be sure to check out our blog for more helpful information regarding your electrical needs!

 

Space Heater Safety Tips

Safety Tips Space HeaterSometimes heating in your home or your office is uneven, leaving you with cold pockets that never seem to warm up. One common solution is plugging in a portable space heater. These tiny, but mighty gadgets can be a convenient source of heat, and less expensive than installing a new heating system. Unfortunately they can also increase the risk of electric shock or fire hazard if used incorrectly. Heating equipment is actually the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. So the team at Fusion Electric put together these safety tips to keep in mind this winter when using your space heater.

Space Heater Do’s

  • DO make sure your space heater has the label verifying that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • DO read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully before using a space heater.
  • DO inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  • DO make sure your space heater is placed in the proper place. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
  • DO unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

Related Read: 3 Ways to Keep Electronics Safe During the Holidays

Space Heater Don’ts

  • DON’T leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
  • DON’T use space heaters to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes. They’re only meant for supplemental heating.
  • DON’T plug space heaters into a power strip or extension cord, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater, instead plug them directly into a wall outlet.
  • DON’T ever place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire. Always place on level, flat surfaces.


If you have other electrical questions or concerns this winter, be sure to call your trusted electricians at Fusion Electric. You can always reach us at 913-563-7975.

3 Ways to Keep Electronics Safe During the Holidays

May your holiday season be merry and bright! To ensure that it is, Fusion Electric is sharing three ways to keep your electronics safe and your mind sane this holiday season. Follow our tips for a smooth winter.


holiday sting lightsInspect Electrical Holiday Displays Before Using

It’s that time of the year again, full of sparkle and cheer. Before you hang the tinsel and the lights, make sure you do a double take. Christmas lights that you hang outside your home or on your Christmas tree can end up with unscrewed bulbs or frayed wires – neither of which are conducive to a safe holiday display. Always check your holiday lights or displays with lights or electrical components to make sure they are still safe to use in their desired location. This small step can keep your family safe from electrical shocks, and can prevent a fire hazard in your home.

Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Outlets for Winter

Electrical SafetyDon’t Overload Electrical Outlets

Between the holiday lights, displays, and new gadgets, it’s easy to put extra stress on your home’s electrical panel without even realizing it. Taxing your electrical demands can cause some real issues though. You can blow a fuse, or even a circuit, cutting off power to part or all of your home. Make sure your home’s electrical panel is up to date and replace it if need be. The average home’s electrical needs have increased dramatically over the past decade or so, so upgrading your electrical panel might be a good move, especially before all those holiday parties.

Also, steer clear of power strip usage this season. They can overload quickly with the high demand of the season, which can lead to a blown fuse, or worse – irreparable damage to expensive electronics. Add more outlets to your home where you know demand will be high if need be – think kitchen, living room, media room, etc..

Holiday HouseTurn Off Holiday Light Displays at Night or When Away

Letting lights burn 24/7 is not a good idea – even if they are newer LED displays. You might be saving money on your energy costs with LED lights, but they can still cause issues if overused, especially outdoors. We all know that electricity and water don’t pair well together. Late fall and winter are typically filled with days and nights of rain or snow showers. Do yourself a favor, turn off or unplug those outdoor lights during the day when they are barely visible anyhow and when there is a heavy downfall. This will keep your lights from malfunctioning and dying on you, and keep your family safe from electrical shock.

It’s also in your best interest to turn indoor light displays off at night and when you are gone during the day. Keeping them on inside all day can increase your risk of a house fire.


For electrical improvements prior to the busy holiday season, call Fusion Electric today at  913-563-7975.

How to Save Energy Using Advanced Power Strips

Save Money with Advanced Power Strips

Did you know by using your computer, TV, game consoles and DVD player every day, you could be running up an additional 10% to your monthly electric bill? That’s right, each time you turn on your favorite sports team or reality TV show, you’re adding a few dollars to your bill. But don’t worry, we aren’t asking you to give up your entertainment. Fusion Electric is here to offer you some simple tips on how to save money, while continuing to do and use what you love.

Avoid the Vampire Load of Electricity

This may sound simple, but it’s something that often gets overlooked. Turn off your electronics! Many times people forget to turn off their devices when they aren’t using them. And did you know, that many of your electronics can even continue to draw power after they’ve been turned off? This type of wasted energy is called a “vampire load.”  

Related Read: Tips for Saving Electricity

Although it sounds scary, there is a convenient and low-cost solution for vampire loads. Replace your conventional power strips with advanced power strips (APS)  to help reduce the electricity your devices are wasting when they’re not in use.

What are Advanced Power Strips?

APS are designed primarily for home entertainment centers and home office areas where there are typically many consumer electronics plugged into a power strip. These strips work by preventing electronics from drawing power when they’re off or not being used. There are many types of APS to fit different people’s needs, so be sure to pick the right one for your family.

For example, if you often fall asleep when watching TV at night, an activity monitor APS can turn everything off for you. Or, if you are always diligent about turning all your electronics off when you aren’t using them but are concerned about the lingering vampire power draw, a masterless APS can make sure that everything is completely off.

Which APS Is for Your Home?

Thanks to this handy infographic made by The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, you can follow the flowchart to find out which APS will work best for your needs.

By being more cautious about the type of advanced power strips you use for your electronics, you should start to see a decrease in your electricity bill. For more information about how to save money on your bills, give the experts at Fusion Electric a call at 913-648-9487.

Stop the DIY! Why You Need to Call an Electrician

Call Fusion ElectricDo It Yourself projects are booming right now in almost every industry because, who wouldn’t want to save a little cash on the side, right? But sometimes that little bit of cash you save doesn’t outweigh the cost of problems you might run into forgoing a professional. While building and painting a bookshelf might be a very doable DIY project, electrical work is a whole different story. Some smaller projects, like replacing your outlet plate are easy and cheap to do, it’s really better to leave most of the work up to a professionally licensed electrician who you can trust to get the job done right. Here are some reasons to pick up the phone and call Fusion Electric the next time you need electrical work done in your home.

Your Health Is More Important

According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) more than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur every year. Realistically, that hospital bill will probably cost more than hiring a professional in the first place. So, we say, stop the DIY’s when it comes to your Kansas City area home’s electrical work.

You Could Cause More Problems

While you may be super handy and knowledgeable about home improvement, you’ll never be as well trained as a professional electrician. Many homeowners go into it with the best intentions and try to fix things around the house. We often get called in to correct the work of DIYers like loose wires and circuits, connecting the wrong wires, or overloading your electrical panel. These could all potentially cause a lot of damage if not fixed immediately.

Related Read: Outlet Not Working? 3 Possible Reasons Why

Next time you have an electrical problem, or want to add the latest and greatest gadget to your line-up of home entertainment devices, just play it safe. This is one area in your life where it pays to be cautious, sort of like insurance. Let Fusion Electric be your electrical insurance policy and keep your home and family safer. Call us at 913-563-7975 for electrical help, big or small, today.

Troubleshooting Tips When Your Lights Won’t Turn On

Light Bulb OnYou walk through your garage, into your kitchen to set down the groceries, flip the light switch, and . . . nada. This annoying problem is quite common. No need to panic when the lights won’t turn on. The next time this happens to you, make sure you rule out any of these possibilities before you call for help. This can save you hassle and money.

Check The Bulb

First things first. Check the bulb(s). Is the bulb loose in its socket? Does it need to be screwed in a little tighter? Is the bulb blown and needs to be replaced? If you answered no to all of the above, time to move onto the next step.

Make Sure It Is Plugged In

If the light that won’t turn on is in a lighting fixture that requires a plug-in to an electrical outlet, check the outlet. Is it plugged in? Is it loose? Many times electrical plugs can come loose when moving furniture close by, or if someone trips over a cord sticking out too far. If none of these questions solved the problem, try the next test.

Try the Circuit Breaker

Are there any switches out of place? All the power in your home has to go through your service panel and circuit breakers to get to the place you need it. Sometimes a blown switch or a power surge can cause your circuit breaker to cut off power to certain outlets and parts of your home, and they just need to be reset with the flick of a switch. If flipping the switch back and forth didn’t return power, try this next test.

Related Read: What Is a Power Surge & How to Protect Your Home From One

Test the Outlet

Buy a $3 circuit tester at your local hardware store and test the outlet(s) that is of concern. The reading will tell you if power is still flowing. If not, you could have an unseen electrical wiring issue behind the walls of your home. At this point, there’s not much else you can do yourself, unless you are a skilled electrician.

Call the Experts

When all else fails, call the electrician team in Kansas City that you trust at Fusion Electric. Call us at 913-563-7975, and we’ll have you fixed up in no time with no hassle.

Are Your Outdoor Outlets Safe?

GFCI Safe OutletsHow often do you use your outdoor outlets? Probably more than you realize, especially in the summer months. Plugging in a phone charger, a radio, outdoor lighting, etc. But are your outdoor outlets safe? Outdoor outlets need to be cared for correctly, and also need the right characteristics to ensure their safe use. Here’s what you can do to make sure your outdoor outlets are not a health hazard to you and your family.

Install GFCI Outlets

Regular outlets just won’t do for outdoor use. While they deliver proper electrical power, they aren’t equipped with the proper safety guards. Instead, install GFCI outlets outdoors and in any room in your home near a water source. A GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, measures the balance of the electrical flow to the outlet. If the GFCI senses an imbalance in this electrical flow, it shuts off power to the outlet. This protects appliances from getting fried, and people from being shocked or electrocuted.

Related Read: Patio Kitchens: 5 Electrical Items You Didn’t Think of Installing

Use an Outlet Cover

Installing a cover on  your outdoor outlets is another good way to protect your family and to keep your outdoor outlets safer. These covers will help keep water from making its way into the outlet, which we all know can cause electrocution, and will also help keep debris, like dust, dirt, and dead leaves out of the outlet openings. Debris can interfere with the outlet’s ability to conduct and deliver electricity..

Call the electrical experts at Fusion Electric to install GFCI outlets on your Kansas City home’s exterior, and keep your family safer. Call us today at 913-563-7975.

6 Things to Take Care of Before a Home Inspection

Spring isn’t just the season for cleaning, but it’s also prime time for buying and selling homes. If you’re in that same boat, then you know how much work goes into prepping your home for selling. One of the biggest hurdles to jump through includes passing a certified home inspection. When the inspector finds a lot of issues with your home, it doesn’t look good to your prospective buyer, and can even drive your selling value down before the sale closes. To help you prepare for your inspection, Fusion Electric has compiled a list of six electrical problems you can take care of now.

Electrical WiringAluminum Wiring

Have it? Get rid of it. It’s that simple. This type of wiring was popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s as a more economical option in place of copper. Since then, it’s been discovered that aluminum wiring causes a lot of problems. Aluminum wiring corrodes when in contact with copper. This causes loosened connections, which can lead to arcing and dangerous electrical fires.

Age of Electrical Paneloutdated unsafe old electrical panel replace kansas city

Electrical panels protect homeowners by tripping a breaker when a circuit overload occurs, thus preventing a fire. That’s why it’s super important to make sure yours is working, and working at its best. As a general rule of thumb, electric panels older than 40 years should be replaced. If you’re nearing or at the 20 year mark, it’s in your best interest to call in a trusted technician to inspect it for safety.

serviceupgrades2Circuit Breaker Size

If your circuit breaker has been around for a while, you may need to have it reassessed to see if it’s sized right for the energy your home requires. With our ever increasing energy needs and technologically advancing lifestyles, the amount of electrical energy we consume and expend in a day is huge. But if you’re demanding more electricity than your circuit breaker is built to handle, you’ll end up dealing with broken fuses, tripped circuits, and blackouts more often than you’d like. Get an electrician out to your home to take a look at your circuit breaker. They should be able to tell you if you need to upgrade to a circuit breaker that can handle a higher amperage.

GFCI Installed in Proper LocationsFixing Outlet

New codes in the last several years now require that Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter circuits, or GFCI’s, are installed on certain areas of your home. Make sure you’ve got all of them covered before your inspector comes through the house. You’ll need GFCI’s in unfinished areas of your home, garages, outdoor living areas, and anything near a water source (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room). Keep your Kansas City home safer with GFCI’s installed in all the right places.

Power Surge ProblemsMake Sure 3-Prong Outlets Are Grounded

While three-pronged outlets are great assets to have in your home, make sure all of them are actually grounded. Occasionally we see contractors get lazy and just replace the old 2 pronged outlet cover with a 3 pronged cover, but the electrical wiring isn’t actually wired correctly to be grounded. This can cause problems when you plug a three-pronged plug  into an outlet that isn’t wired to deliver electricity to that large of a device. It’s a safety hazard. Your electrician can make sure all the right outlets are grounded, and if not, fix it for you before it’s too late.

Get Rid of Extension CordsNo More Extension cords

Just say no. No more extension cords. These nifty things are great for the holidays when you have holiday lights that are only on a few hours of the day, but they are not, I repeat, ARE NOT a permanent solution, especially for large appliances. Never have your refrigerator, microwave, garage door, or flat screen television plugged into one on a regular basis. This just has disaster written all over it. Think power surges that can fry appliances and devices, and rotten food when your refrigerator gets accidentally unplugged from the extension cord. Make sure all large appliances and devices are plugged into dedicated outlets that connect directly to your circuit breaker that has a surge protector on it. This is the best way to safeguard yourself from disaster.


Call Fusion Electric today for a home safety inspection before you put your home up for sale. It will save you a ton of hassle later on. You can reach us at (913) 563-7975.