Ting keeps you in the know with reports about power quality and real-time alerts about important events. The most important of which is a suspected fire hazard. Here’s what you should expect if Ting identifies such a hazard.
When the Whisker Labs Fire Operations Team notifies you of a safety concern, it means Ting has identified a real hazard that requires your attention. That’s the primary reason for Ting – an important preventive tool in your broader mission to help keep your family and home better protected. Importantly, not all electrical fire hazards identified by Ting need a licensed electrician (aka, “contractor”) to correct the condition.
Suspected Hazard – Ting’s First Contact
A member of our Fire Operations Team contacts you via app notification, text, e-mail, or telephone. From there, we may ask for your assistance to isolate the source signal within your home and further distinguish the cause. Ting has already helped us understand the significance and type of hazard, which shapes the questions we will ask you.
Most situations fall under one of four general scenarios:
- Some hazards are easy fixes and not due to faulty devices or wiring.
- Some hazards require a faulty device to be unplugged and removed from service.
- In some cases, we may determine that a licensed electrician is required to address an electrical issue with electrical wiring, components, or connections.
- In other cases, you’ll need to notify your electrical utility of a potentially dangerous fault outside your home / in your community.
Why Our Contact Matters
When our Operations Team contacts you, it’s important. Understandably, the large majority of homeowners are fully engaged from the outset and are incredibly pleased with the outcome. Over the past few years and countless customer engagements, there have been a few occasions where a customer does not assign the same priority to a Ting-identified hazard as we do. Again, it’s rare but does happen. These photos and very kind feedback illustrate the importance of our outreach.
Most Hazard Situations Fall Under One of Four Scenarios
(1) There’s an Easy Fix for the Hazard
In some cases, Ting sees an issue that is a potential fire hazard but it is easily addressed. These include firmly screwing in a loose lightbulb (loose bulbs generate arcing and heat) or firmly plugging in a device that was prior firmly plugged-in but partially pulled loose from the outlet (such a poor connection can generate arcing and heat).
No one wants to hear that there is a potential fire hazard in your home so I was extremely thankful to know [Ting was] monitoring our home for issues. Ray was able to tell me exactly when he saw the activity and pinpointed that it was a garage door opener issue. Ray listed several items that could be the concern including the light bulb; I promptly changed the light bulb. We determined the bulb which was an old-style bulb had become loose in the garage door opener causing the unusual activity. Very grateful the problem was resolved!
(2) A Faulty Connected Device is Causing the Hazard
If it plugs in, we’ll ask you to unplug it and discontinue using the device – examples include an electric blanket, charger, table lamp, iron, etc. In contrast, if the device is ‘hard-wired’ into a circuit – ceiling fan, baseboard heater, chandelier, air conditioner – we’ll guide you in turning off the breaker or switch that provides electricity to it, where applicable. In turn, if electrical repair work is needed, we’ll consult an electrician with your permission.
I shudder to think what could have happened had our Frosty (holiday decoration) started a fire in our home. I’m grateful Ting detected the fault and prevented a potential fire – thank you Ting!
(3) When an Electrician is Needed to Address an In-Home Hazard
Our singular goal is to keep you safe. We only recommend on-site repair by a contractor when professional diagnosis, identification, or repair of an electrical fire hazard is deemed necessary by our Fire Operations Team.
Our first step is coordinating directly with you. A large majority of repairs are addressed by one of our authorized contractors. As a Ting customer you can refer your preferred licensed electrician to us should you have one. In no event is a contractor ever scheduled without prior consent and approval.
Although we are not on-site ourselves, we use special diagnostic tools along with real-time data from your Ting sensor during an on-site contractor visit. Using this information, we moderate the diagnostic process with the on-site contractor as an integral part of the Ting service. This ensures expedient hazard identification and accurate post-repair confirmation.
I feel so fortunate that Ting identified a potential fire hazard due to a chandelier in my home. I was notified promptly and an electrician was sent out to correct the problem in a brief timeframe. I can rest easier knowing my home has the added protection from Ting.
Unless You explicitly request otherwise during their visit, a contractor is not authorized to perform any work beyond the repairs needed to address the Ting-identified hazard. Importantly, we receive no compensation for coordinating on-site repair services. And, with the exception of administering your available Ting service credit, we do not compensate a contractor that we refer to repair a hazard.
(4) When an Electrical Utility Grid Fault is Causing the Hazard
Not all electrical fire hazards originate from within the home. An electrical fault or power quality issue occurring outside your home or in your local community is not just an ‘outside’ threat. Such issues can cause hazardous conditions inside your home, including the risk of fire, electrocution, or damage to sensitive electronics.
Big effort. Two large trucks and a crew of 4-5 SCE [electric utility in Southern California Edison] guys were on-site for 4+ hours…Know they spent a lot of time excavating a vault in front of my next-door neighbor’s house… remediating the subterranean connection problems. SCE website indicated that 19 houses in the neighborhood were affected by the repair… Okay… I’m officially impressed with you and Ting. I am not easily impressed. Old tech dude. UC Berkeley physics. UCLA engineering.
Armed with your Ting app and guidance from our Fire Operations Team, we’ll guide you to reach out to your utility to explain the issue and request they assess power in your location. We’d love to do it for you – but your utility will only respond to requests from their customers. The good news? There has not been a single utility crew that has not confirmed and repaired a grid-based fault detected by Ting.
The Ting Service: This is Our Specialty
We’re proud of our track record and Ting’s ability to identify fire hazards without pestering you with false alarms. So when we contact you, we’re confident Ting has identified a concerning issue. In that spirit, remember that failure to remediate fire hazards properly could result in a fire, electric shock, injury, death, or severe damage to, or loss of your home.
Let’s stay safe together!