Residential Building Electrical Malfunction Fires Graph

Residential electrical fire trendGraph showing the trend of the number of home electrical fires per year. At Morningstar Electric, we believe the downward trend of fires per year may be attributed to the requirement of arc fault breakers as part of the last three editions of the National Electrical Code, or the trend could be explained by the requirements of insurance companies to replace knob and tube wiring, and in some cases aluminum wiring, before a policy is written. The graph was shown on FEMA’s website at

LED light bulbs

LED par 38 replacementLED bulbs have been out for a few years but the last year has seen some improvements on their light output and price. While they are not a perfect product for every lighting need they are very good for many of applications.

LED technology has made major improvements in design allowing for a very efficient light source. LED lamps are capable of great savings in cost over their life when compared with other bulbs. A 60 watt Edison bulb or 26 watt compact fluorescent can now be replaced with a 10 watt LED equivalent. In addition to its low cost to operate, the average bulb will last 30 to 50 thousand hours of use. Maintenance time is reduced as a result. LED bulbs do not contain mercury, in most, if not all brands this makes them much safer than fluorescent bulbs. Mercury is not a good thing to have in your home especially in bedrooms. For information on cleaning up a broken CFL bulb, check out our article How to clean up a broken CFL as instructed by the EPA.

There are several color temperature options to achieve a desired look.

LED can trim by Sea gull lightingWe have used LED in recessed cans as a retrofit and they work great. There is a 14.5 watt LED made by Sea Gull lighting to replace the original trim and bulb that produces a good strong light. When compared to the standard 65 watt reflector bulb, we were satisfied with its light output. The LED should last 12 to 20 times longer than the standard 65 watt bulb. When you factor the cost of 12 standard bulbs, the LED replacement will save you money over time. They are great to use in fixtures that require large ladders to reach, due to their lifespan.

We also use LED in landscape lights to save on the power bill and reduce maintenance costs for our clients.



How to clean up a broken CFL as instructed by the EPA

CFL bulb

The CFL bulb, if broken, can be hazardous to your health

Since there is a safety concern with these bulbs, we wanted to get this information out word for word to what the EPA recommends as a proper cleanup of a broken bulb. It is our opinion that children’s bedrooms are very important to properly clean if a CFL bulb is broken as well as other areas where children play. LED lights while more expensive, cost less to operate over time and are a much safer option for your home.

The following information is on the proper cleanup of a broken CFL light bulb from the EPA website.

Before Cleanup

  • Have people and pets leave the room.
  • Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
  • Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
  • Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb: 
    • stiff paper or cardboard;
    • sticky tape;
    • damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
    • a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

During Cleanup

  • DO NOT VACUUM.  Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken.  Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
  • Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
  • Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

After Cleanup

  • Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of.  Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
  • Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
  • If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

Why is it important to clean up a broken CFL properly?

CFLs and other fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing. When a fluorescent bulb breaks in your home, some of this mercury is released as mercury vapor. To minimize exposure to mercury vapor, EPA recommends that residents follow the cleanup and disposal steps described on this page.
What if I can’t follow all the recommended steps? or I cleaned up a CFL but didn’t do it properly?

Don’t be alarmed; these steps are only precautions that reflect best practices for cleaning up a broken CFL. Keep in mind that CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury — less than 1/100th of the amount in a mercury thermometer.

However, if you are concerned about your health after cleaning up a broken CFL, consult your local poison control center.  You can reach your local poison control center anywhere in the U.S. by calling 1-800-222-1222. You can call your poison control center any time you have questions or in an emergency.  You can also consult your physician about potential health effects from mercury exposures.

State Farm Electrical Hazard Recommendations


State Farm Insurance has published recommendations for homeowners to help protect them from electrical hazards.  Having third-party advice from an industry leader may be beneficial to helping you protect your clients homes, families, and assets from damage caused by electrical hazards.

Among other things, the State Farm web site talks about:

  • Surge Protection Devices
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI)
  • Service Entrance Lines
  • Fuse and Circuit Breaker Boxes

Click on the included link to view these recommendations.

Welcome to the new website.

Thank you for your consideration of our services and for the time you are taking to look at our website. We know your time is valuable and if you are in need of emergency service please call us at 813-892-4582 now. If you are looking at our site to get a better idea of who we are and what we can do, please read on and spend some time on our site. We will be updating the new site often, so please bookmark our site as it will become a great resource of information related to your electrical system and industry news as it grows. We will be posting special offers from time to time as our way of thanking you for your visit.

In our site, you will find information about our business and our dedication to provide excellent service as well as additional ways to contact us for service. You will also find electrical safety and cost cutting tips, new product information and some interesting information about electricity that may surprise you.

Please visit our products and services page for a list and information on the services we provide to our clients in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties Florida.

If you are in our service area and need an electrician, it is our goal to make you experience with us a great one, so you will want to have us over again and again. If you are outside our service area you may still find information on this site of value to you. Please enjoy and thank you for considering Morningstar Electric for all your electrical needs.