Got an electrician coming out to the house sometime soon?  Make a note to kill several electric birds with one stone.  While he or she is there, have your electrician make these relatively easy upgrades to your home electric outlets:

-- Raise some outlets.  It helps keep them out of reach of small children, plus it makes it less of a chore to use your vacuum cleaner.  It may also serve you well if you plan to install a wall-mounted flat screen TV in the future.

---Add GFCI's (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters).  These are one of the most important electrical safety upgrades of the last 20 years because they turn off a circuit in the event a "fault" is determined. which to you means someone is getting a shock!  You've seen them I'm sure, those outlets that have the little black and red test and reset buttons beside them.  GFCI's are typically installed in wet locations which can include bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outside -- but if your home is older, you would have missed these more recent electrical upgrades requirements.

--Upgrade any two-prong outlets to three-prong outlets.  More and more high-tech devices like laptops require a three-prong outlet to work safely. Since most two-prong outlets won't have a ground wire in the box, an easy way to convert to a three-prong outlets is to have an electrician add a GFCI outlet.  While the circuit won't technically be grounded, it would be ground-fault protected and turn off before anyone could receive a shock.

--Add "Occupancy Sensors."  These motion detectors are a real energy saver as they can turn lights on or off based on motion in a particular room or area.

--Install Dimmers.  Dimmers can cut electrical costs and add drama to your light scheme at a very affordable cost. 

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