July 29, 2015 Newsletter
July 29, 2015 Eco Electric Newsletter
Campfire Device Charging
Most people hate bringing their phones with them into the wilderness because they want to completely disconnect. However, phones are essential in an emergency situation. If the phone’s battery happens to die, campers are out of luck if they need to use it. But with a new invention, it could be easier than ever to keep phones charged while enjoying nature.
The FlameStower is a small portable charger that uses the heat from a campfire to charge devices. How portable is it? It’s about the size of a flat cheese grater and weighs 10 ounces. It can fit in pretty much any backpack or camping gear.
To use it, an individual just has to unfold it, connect their device, and put water in the reservoir that pops up. Fill the reservoir halfway with water, and then stick the blade into the campfire.
The heat from the flames converts a thermoelectric circuit. After about 20 minutes, the device will be ready for about 40 minutes of use. That should be enough time for taking some scenery pictures or using a GPS. Use that time to make some s’mores in the evening or coffee in the morning before a big adventure.
Installing an Extra Outlet
Sometimes, there are more things to plug in than outlets to plug them into. Having to prioritize the plugins can get annoying. Or, the outlet might be too far away, creating the need for an extension cord. Extension cords can be a hazard and don’t look pretty running across the living room floor. Instead, install a new electrical outlet.
While there are a lot of DIY websites out there, with any kind of electrical component, it’s best to call an electrician. Dealing with wire and electricity can be dangerous and harmful. No project is too small for Eco Electric, so give them a call when in need of an extra outlet.
Extra outlets are beneficial when a room has very few outlets or when the outlets are located in awkward spots. Ever move into a new place, get everything set up and then realize the lamp cord can’t reach or the TV is on the wrong side of the room? Instead of rearranging the room to fit the outlets, have an electrician install a new outlet.
Kitchens are another room where having multiple outlets comes in handy. Often, kitchen appliances don’t have very long cords. Moving appliances around the countertop to plug them in can be frustrating. Have Eco Electric install outlets exactly where they are used on the counter or the island.
3 Tips for Extension Cord Safety
Extension cords can be a useful tool for getting electricity to a certain area that’s far from an outlet, but if not used properly, they can pose a hazard. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using extension cords:
1. When selecting an extension cord make sure the cord purchased is right for either indoor or outdoor use. When using them outside, they should be marked for outdoor use. Also, make sure it is the correct wattage for the project or use.
2. While using an extension cord, avoid doing these things:
- Removing the grounding pin so it fits in a two-prong outlet
- Using multiple appliances with one cord
- Using indoor cords outdoors
- Plug multiple cords together
- Run a cord under furniture or rugs
- Attach them to surfaces with tape, staple or nails
- Bend or coil the cord while in use
3. Extension cords should always be stored indoors and unplugged when not needed. When unplugging an extension cord, pull directly on the plug itself, not the cord. Teach children not to play with them and cover the outlets with childproof covers when not in use.
When used properly, extension can be beneficial. If used improperly, they can cause fires, trip people, or cause electrical damage. A little safety can go a long way.
Lightbulb Wattage Matters
When replacing lightbulbs, make sure to use the correct wattage. This can help eliminate the possibility of safety hazards. The fixture should have a sticker on it detailing the correct wattage. Often, it also lists the preferred type of lightbulb.
Using too high of wattage is called overlamping. If a lightbulb is replaced with another that is of a higher wattage than recommended, it could cause the fixture to overheat. This can melt the light socket and the insulation on the fixture’s wires. When wires are damaged, there’s a risk for arc faults, which is a leading cause of home fires.
Incandescent, CFLs, and LEDs put off different amounts of light. Some people take advantage of this and use a different type of lightbulb to get a brighter light without going over the recommended wattage. Usually this works out, as long as they don’t go over the wattage.
Remember, Eco Electric collects florescent lightbulbs and CFLs and disposes of them properly. Don’t create a safety hazard by just throwing any old lightbulb into a lamp or overhead light, check the wattage first.