The Home Safety Experts

Milestone Electric is Dallas & Fort Worth's Trusted Electrician!

4 Home Security Tricks You’ve Never Thought Of
                       

Keep thieves out of your home by following these 4 home security tips:

Keep Valuables in the Kitchen

Thieves stop in the master bedroom first. The last place they go? The kitchen. The kitchen is typically because going into them takes too much time and there are too many places to look for valuables in there. Stash your valuables inside cereal boxes and fake soup cans. That’s the last place burglars will look.

Let The Dogs Out

You don’t have to actually keep them outside, but let them bark sometimes. Even if you don’t have a ferocious pooch, little dogs are a huge turnoff for thieves.They don’t stop barking and can be heard by neighbors or their owners if a thief is checking out the house a day before going in.

Post Signs

Whether it’s for show or you truly are monitoring your property, it’s common to plant a sign in the front yard warning that your home is protected by a security system, or to stick a decal on a few windows in the front of your house, just in case a potential thief is strolling by. What some homeowners often forget is that thieves typically stake out — and enter from — the back of the house. In fact, the primary way into a home is through the French doors or sliding doors in the back.

Always Keep the Alarm On

If you do use your alarm system, you should. Activate it at all times, even when you’re home.

Milestone Electric cares about the safety, comfort and well-being of our customers. To protect your valuables, home and family, visit Milestone Electric at www.milestone-security.com/

6 Common Home Security Mistakes

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Over two million burglaries occur each year in the United States. That’s one every 15 seconds! Here are 6 common mistakes homeowners make when it comes to securing their home from thieves:

Ladders Everywhere

Every time a thief sees a ladder next or a shed or leaning against a house, they know they have an immediate in. Do you know how easy it is to crawl through a second-story window with a ladder? Plus, you probably aren’t stressed about locking your second-story window when your front door is dead-bolted. Keep all of your windows and doors locked tight when you’re out of the house, and hide the ladder in your garage or in a locked shed when you’re not using it. 

You Throw Everything Away

No, we don’t mean you are an anti-hoarder. Throwing away all of your new gadget boxes makes it easy for burglars to know exactly what’s in your house. Planning on buying a new TV? Take the box to the dump, not the curb.

Untrimmed Bushes

The more overgrown your bushes are, the more likely a thief will want to hide in them – especially if they’re near windows! No motion detectors to set off exterior lights? Even better! That way, they can case your home without you even noticing. Make sure your bushes and trees are neatly trimmed so they don’t double as hiding spots! It may also be worth installing motion detector lights near exterior doors and windows for some extra security.

A Visible Alarm System

Can you see your alarm system from your front door. Do you have mirrors around your entry way that could potentially allow someone to see your alarm system from your front door? If so, fix it! A visible alarm system means a thief can see if your alarm is armed or not. If your alarm system is visible through a window, make sure you use blinds or shades to cover it up when you leave or go to sleep. If it’s noticeable in a mirror’s reflection, move that mirror!

No Lights

If a house’s lights are off for several days in a row, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re out of town. To make your house seem filled with life, install a timer in some rooms that will turn lights on and off during different times of the day. Burglars know that it’s common to leave lights on, so they will be more cautious if they see changing lights.

You’re a Social Media Over-sharer

Bragging about your upcoming trip to Cancun on Facebook? You should probably delete that post. Burglars have started scouting Facebook for homeowners with upcoming vacations. Vacationing family means an empty home, and an empty home means a perfect home to burglarize. Wait until after you’ve returned home to tell the world about your adventures. 

Milestone Electric cares about the safety, comfort and well-being of our customers. To protect your valuables, home and family, visit Milestone at www.milestone-security.com/

Tips to Protect Your Home From Lighting Strikes

Protecting yourself, your family and your home and belongings from lighting strikes takes knowledge and preparation.

Tips to Protect Your Home

To help lessen some of the potential damage from a lightning strike:

  • Remove dead or overhanging tree branches that could fall on your house if the tree is struck by lightning.
  • Put your entire house on a surge-protection system.
  • Unplug appliances and electronic equipment.


A major concern during a hailstorm is damage to your home’s roof.

  • No roofing material is hail-proof, so look for hail-resistant shingles that carry a Class 4 UL rating.
  • Learn what type style of roof is appropriate for homes in your area.
  • Most roofing jobs are not for DIYers. Unless you’re experienced, hire a professional roofing contractor.


Hail can cause extensive damage to another of your major investments – your vehicle. Here are some tips:

  • If a severe thunderstorm is predicted, park your car where it will be protected, such as in a parking garage.
  • Driving when a hailstorm begins? Head for an overpass, garage or carport – something with a strong roof. If none are available, pull to the side of road, cover your face with clothing to protect it from possible broken glass - and wait. Most hailstorms last only 5 minutes.
Check Your Plug-In Surge Protectors
One hard surge can burn out the protection mechanism in a surge protector, so it’s important that your surge protector have an indicator light to show that it’s still working as advertised. That way you can check it every so often or after a noticeable surge in electrical power to make sure that your equipment is still being protected. You’ll also want to ensure it has a UL rating that’s not only approved for surge protection (some are merely power strips) but also is capable of handling high surges.
 
If you’re only relying on plug-in surge protectors to protect your electronics and appliances, you should probably consider having a whole-home surge protector installed. For more information, visit us at: http://www.milestoneelectricdfw.com/services/surge-protection-dallas-electrician.
Why You Should Consider Whole-Home Surge Protection
 
Surges happen when electrical voltage increases. If the high voltage lasts three nanoseconds (a nanosecond is a billionth of a second), it’s a surge. If it lasts only one or two nanoseconds, it’s a spike. A high surge or spike can badly damage the electronics in a machine. Too much electrical pressure on a wire heats it up and makes it burn like the filament in a light bulb. Even if your machine survives the surge or spike, the strain on its electronics will may wear them down over time.
 
Protect your pricey electronics with a whole-home surge protector. These surge protectors protect all of the electronics in your home from the flat screen in your bedroom to the desktop computer in your home office. They are easy to install and come with a warranty. This warranty covers ANY appliances that are damaged as a result of ANY type of surge. They would be replaced up to a $10,000 Manufacturer Warranty. No questions asked.

To find out more, feel free to call our office and talk to someone who can answer any questions you may have.Visit us at: http://www.milestoneelectricdfw.com/services/surge-protection-dallas-electrician!

What Causes Power Surges?
                     

Power surges happen when something suddenly raises the electrical charge in the power lines. The electrical energy drastically increases, flowing hard to the outlet. This electrical charge is typically caused by one of two things:

1. Lighting: Surprisingly, lightning isn’t the most common cause of a surge. Lightning that strikes a power line, no matter if the line is in a building, underground, or in overhead cables, raises electrical pressure in the line by millions of volts. The result is a massive power surge that no plug-in surge protector can handle.

2. Everyday Energy Use: Elevators, air conditioners, refrigerators and any other high-juice items are more often the cause of power surges. Switching their compressors and motors on and off can create a power jump that creates irregular voltage flow. This irregular voltage causes a surge. Although such surges are obviously less powerful than lightning surges, they can still damage electrical systems and electronic components over time or all at once.

Give us a call today to learn more about what you can do to protect your home from surges. It’s MUCH less expensive to invest in protection than it is to replace costly appliances. Visit us at: http://www.milestoneelectricdfw.com/services/surge-protection-dallas-electrician to find out more!

4 Things You Should Upgrade In Your Home

There are a ton of optional upgrades you can make in your home. From new bathroom fixtures to paint and decor, there are plenty of ways you can enhance the look and feel of your home. But what about the not-so-optional upgrades? Here’s a few smart things you should think about upgrading today:

Homeowners Insurance

If there’s a flood, are you covered? And what happens if there is a break-in while you are on vacation? Not all homeowners insurance policies are created equal, so read up on your policy now before problems arise later. You’ll be surprised by how many things might not be included. If important coverage is missing, make the investment and upgrade.

Light Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are so 2000 and late. If you’ve been holding off on purchasing CFL bulbs because they’re a little more expensive, it’s important to know that they last 6-10 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. This means that upgrading the light bulbs in your home can ultimately save you about $30 per bulb! Not to mention they are environmentally friendly. It’s just a win-win all around!

Thermostat

Imagine your house having perfectly controlled temperatures with zero effort on your part. A programmable thermostat does that! Not only does a programmable thermostat make your life easier, it can save you about $180 a year on energy costs. You can get a latte every week at Starbucks with the money you save.  

Locks

To prevent burglaries, the National Crime Prevention Council recommends that every exterior door have a dead-bolt lock with a one-inch throw (the bolt passes one inch into the doorframe). If your lock doesn’t meet that criteria, you should consider a door hardware upgrade. 

Milestone Electric cares about the safety, comfort and well-being of our customers. Visit Milestone Electric at www.MilestoneElectricDFW.com

Create a Cozy Home

          

Cozy homes are the best homes. Sure, everyone likes the “showroom” look, but nothing beats the feeling of cozy. Cozy is that feeling you get from wrapping up in a fleece blanket on a cold day with a cup of hot chocolate. How do you invite a feeling like that into your home? Here are a few tips that will help make your home an inviting haven for you and your guests.

Think Comfy

Yes, that elegant armchair in a design magazine may be enticing, but cozy homes are not entirely about looks. You may like looking at the arm chair, but does it look like an armchair you would want to spend hours in? 

When testing a seating item for your new house, can you imagine yourself curled up in it with a good book and feeling the weight of the day sinking into the couch cushions. If that isn’t the case, perhaps you should keep searching. Ideally, furniture should pay tribute to both comfort and style. But if coziness is what you are after, a tiny compromise in aesthetics may prove to be a good idea in the long term.

Be Touchy Feely

One of the simplest tricks for a more welcoming home is texture. Surround yourself with things you would like to touch. Fluffy carpets, puffy down blankets, smooth wooden furniture- all these can be easily integrated in a modern room, making it feel less uptight and more comfortable. When dealing with a large room, the use of fabric and texture can reduce the size of the room and provide a sense of coziness.

Invite Diversity

You don’t always have to go with a furniture set to complete a room. Don’t be afraid of mixing things up a little, even if this means having different styles lined up. Diversity is the key to a vivid interior, one that stirs you up visually and that will probably appeal to your guests also. If you consider the overall result harmonious and enjoy being a part of it, your friends probably will too.

It’s All About Details

Small things like candles, funny plush toys or a book in the right place can give you a nice feeling of calm. Most people waste time and energy in making their house spotless and picture-perfect before having guests over. Naturally, cleaning is good, but keep in mind that friends come over to visit you, not to inspect your home.

Add a Personal Touch

The things you love should take center stage in your home. Your home primarily reflects who you are and the rest will falls into place. That old collection of vinyl records, the painting from from your great-aunt or those cat pictures you love so much; it’s the simple things that come with the best memories. Find a way to integrate them in the design of your new home and you will see how quickly the space will gain personality and warmth. 

Know any other tips for making a new home feel cozy and inviting? Feel free to share them with us! 

Milestone Electric cares about the safety, comfort and well-being of our customers. Visit Milestone Electric at www.MilestoneElectricDFW.com

How To Bring Out Your Inner Handyman (or Handywoman)

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We all have those tasks around the house that pop up unexpectedly. Running toilets, squeaky doors and damaged walls happen to the best of us. When these unfortunate events occur, don’t just shrink back in fear. With the right tools and these tips, you can tackle just about any job around the house. 

 

Stop a Running Toilet

If your toilet is running, you should probably stop it. A constantly running toilet can not only drive you crazy, it can waste money as well. 

1. Reach behind the toilet and turn the water off (there’s usually a knob behind it that controls the flow).

2. Next, lift the top of the tank. More often than not, you’ll find that the flapper or the flush valve has a problem, leaving the tank constantly emptying into the toilet bowl. The fix can range from a readjustment of the float and the arm (so the tank gets plugged) to a complete replacement of the tank’s interior parts.

3. Remove the old flapper and take it to the store to find an exact replacement. Most hardware stores often carry a wide variety. There is a catch; you may not find an exact match. The range of flapper styles has increased over the last 15 years, and you may find 15 to 20 flapper options on the store shelf. Some packages include specific brand and model information (so note yours before you leave home). Others have a “universal” label. If you can’t find an exact replacement, try the closest one and pick up a universal type as well. They’re cheap, and the extra one just might save you a second trip to the store. Avoid the “adjustable” types unless you’re replacing an adjustable one.

4. Install the new flapper and make sure it opens and closes freely. If the water continues to run or runs intermittently, you’re not getting a good seal. Try a different flapper.

 

Caulk 

1. Use isopropyl alcohol to make sure the surface you’re working on is clean. This usually breaks down any oil or residue that could make the caulk not stick properly.

2. Use some tape on either side of the surface you’ll be caulking. This will ensure straight, crisp lines.

3. Caulking is sort of like using a pastry bag (if you’ve frosted a cake). It requires constant pressure and the correct application, which is achieved by cutting the tip of your canister to a 45-degree angle. Insert the caulk into your gun—make sure you’ve punctured it if your gun doesn’t have a mechanism that does so for you—and take a deep breath.

4. Using constant pressure on the trigger, go between the taped lines. Don’t worry too much if it isn’t completely perfect, as you’ll be smoothing it out with your finger later, but get it as smooth as you can.

5. After you finish that up, wet your finger with some of that alcohol or some water and go along the caulked line, pushing it up against the surface while smoothing it out simultaneously. Wipe your finger as you go, as if you let your finger collect too much, it makes the job harder.

6. Once you’re done, pull off the tape and admire your work as a handy(wo)man. 

 

Fix a Drywall Hole 

Bad news, drywall holes happen. Anyone with small children or rowdy roommates knows this. Good news, it’s a pretty simple fix. With some specialized tools and material, scrap wood, compound, matching paint and sandpaper, fixing drywall holes is a cinch.

1. Use a retractable razor blade and cut out any paper or extra material that’s hanging out or loose.

2. Use a self-adhesive patch (it looks like metal mesh that can be found at any home improvement store) and fix it to the cleaned out hole. Let it dry out.

3. While waiting, mix up some drywall compound. Once that’s at a pasty consistency, use a tape knife and spread the compound around on the screen. Make sure that your drywall compound is thick enough that it doesn’t just ooze through the mesh. Cover the patch completely.

4. Next, add another coat of the compound onto the patch, covering the first coat completely. Using a wet rag, blend the outside of the patch into the surrounding wall, so there’s not a noticeable edge to where the compound ends and the wall begins.

5. Once the compound dries out completely, you can sand, paint and prime it to match the surrounding wall.

 

Strip Paint

Don’t use a sander to strip paint from that dresser you’ve been dying to restore. There are chemical strippers out there that are safe for the environment and work without any truly hard physical labor. A chemical stripper can let you varnish and sand your wood instead of spending time sanding. 

1. Simply spray or paint it on, let it sit for a while, then come back and scrape the paint right off. Works like a charm.

 

Reset a Circuit Breaker

So you went a little overboard while multitasking. No worries! 

1. Turn off all the lights and unplug everything in the affected room or rooms.

2. Take a flashlight and open the circuit breaker panel so you can see the circuit breakers. Each breaker has three positions: onoff, and a center position.

3. Look for the circuit breaker with the switch in the center position.

4. Flip the switch to off, and then flip it to on.

5. Wait a moment to see if the switch stays in the on position. If it does, the circuit breaker is reset and power is restored to the room. If the switch doesn’t stay in the on position, it indicates a serious wiring problem. Contact an electrician immediately. 

Milestone Electric cares about the safety, comfort and well-being of our customers. Visit Milestone Electric at www.MilestoneElectricDFW.com

The Clean Home Guide: Cleaning Tips For Those of Us Who Don’t Have Time to Clean

Who wants to spend an entire Saturday cleaning? Ain’t nobody got time for that. You have people to see, places to go and a life to live. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate cleaning guide for people who don’t have have time to clean. You can clean your house in less than an hour with this plan. Yes, you read that right. Less than an hour! That leaves more time in your day for you to be with your family, catch up on Netflix, call a friend or simply have some much needed “me” time. Try it out this week and let us know what you did with all that extra time.

The Plan:

Pregame:

First, you need to go into cleaning mode. This means NO MULTITASKING! You can check Twitter after you’re done. Second, turn on your favorite Pandora station or playlist. Doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Ke$ha, Mozart or Mumford and Sons. Just turn up the volume and jam out. Liven up the cleaning process by adding some fun. You can even dance while you vacuum. 

Clean Mode:

Seperate your home into 4 sections. Start with the bedrooms and work your way down the list. 

1: Bedrooms

2: Bathrooms

3: Kitchen

4: Living Room

 

1: Bedrooms
Approximate time: 10 minutes per bedroom

Do a clean sweep. Put dirty clothes in the hamper. Pick things up off the floor and put them in the closet or drawers. Put your collection of things on your dresser or nightstand in their proper place (that means those cups go in the dishwasher). Empty the wastebasket. You want clean surfaces to help the room look tidier.

Make the bed. Rather than trying to tuck sheets under the end of the mattress, lift up each corner of the mattress with one hand and tuck with the other. It’s faster.

Deal with dust. Using a dry microfiber cloth, start with a piece of furniture in one corner and work your way around the room clockwise. Dust each surface, working back-to-front and dump the dust right onto the floor. Your cloth should only touch each part of the surface once (no constant back-and-forth). If there’s a lamp on the nightstand, clean it top-to-bottom first, then dust the tabletop. Use your long-armed duster on mirrors and wall art.

Vacuum. Start from a back corner and vacuum your way out the door, using long firm strokes. Save time by only running the vacuum over each strip of carpet once—not twice. Don’t worry about missing an inch or two.

 

2: Bathroom
Approximate time: 9 minutes

Prep. Spritz the sink, vanity, shower and tub with your all-purpose spray and let sit.

Tackle the toilet. Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, give it a thorough scrub with the toilet brush, then flush. Next, spray a microfiber cloth with all-purpose spray and wipe down the outside of the toilet and tank.

Clean the mirror. Spray on glass cleaner and, starting in the top corner, wipe in a circular motion.

Go back to the sink. Use the toothbrush to quickly scrub hard-to-reach spots around the fixtures.Then, working back-to-front, start in one corner and move horizontally, wiping the counter, vanity, fixtures and handles.

Wipe down the shower and tub. No need for a full scrub—just give them a quick swipe with a dampened cloth, then pull the curtain shut.

Mop the floor. Using a water-dampened microfiber mop, quickly mop your way out of the room, beginning in a far corner and ending at the doorway.

 

3: Kitchen
Approximate time: 12 minutes

Do the dishes. Load the dishwasher and start the cycle.

Declutter. Spend a minute or two removing any clutter from countertops—put items back in the cabinets, put papers away. The emptier your counters, the cleaner your kitchen looks.

Pretreat. Notice hard-to-remove gunk on your stove or countertop? Scrape it up. Use the eraser sponge to tackle any stubborn stains.

Clean the counters. Wet a microfiber cloth with all-purpose spray and wipe countertops back-to-front, brushing crumbs onto the floor.

Wipe down appliances. Wipe the fridge, dishwasher and stove with a damp cloth.

Tackle the floor. Starting in a far corner, sweep your way out. Then give the floor a fast once-over with a water-dampened microfiber mop, again working your way out.

 

4: Living Room
Approximate time: 15 minutes

Clear the clutter. Quickly scan the room to see what’s out of place. Stash scattered items like remotes in drawers; neatly stack magazines on the coffee table.

Dust. Start in one corner of the room, and follow the same process as in the bedrooms, working top-to-bottom and back-to-front so that the dust falls onto the floor. And if you have blinds, swipe them with the long-armed duster.

Clean glass. To clean glass surfaces, spray a microfiber cloth with your glass cleaner and wipe in wide circular motions, working from one back corner to the front.

Vacuum. Speed-vacuum yourself out of the room, starting in the farthest corner.

 

5. Enjoy the feeling of a clean home and go have fun!

So there you have it. No, it’s not a deep clean that your mother-in-law would marvel at, but your home is clean! Now go enjoy the time you’ve saved.

But WAIT! There’s more!

For those of you who would rather do a little bit at a time every day (overachievers), here’s a list you can print and stick on your fridge. It’s also helpful for getting your spouse, kids or roommates involved in the cleaning process. Happy cleaning!

          

For more information about electrical service and repair or electrical home safety, visit Milestone Electric at: www.MilestoneElectricDFW.com.