The National Fire Protection Association reports that between the years 2010 to 2014, fire departments all over the U.S. responded to an annual average of 45,210 cases of home fires that were traced to electrical malfunctions. This is a scary figure.
A fire wreaks havoc in the lives of people some of whom become homeless or lose loved ones.
It is often emphasized among home or business owners to carefully choose electrical contractors when they have electrical needs because it is not something you take for granted. A trustworthy and knowledgeable electrician is a must when confronted with electrical problems. You should never rely on someone inexperienced and unlicensed.
Choosing an electrician requires due diligence on your part when searching for the perfect one. You need to consider several factors before choosing an electrical contractor.
- Qualifications and Experience
Know how long the electrical contractor has been in the business. Go through their websites because their “About” section would usually display this information. An electrical contractor who has been in the business for many years would already have a lot of experience. A licensed Master Electrician normally has a minimum of three years experience.
Ask about their technical proficiency regarding electrical system reliability and electrical safety. Also, check for their accreditations for certain services.
They should also comply with national standards for electrical safety.
An electrical contractor is not allowed to practice without a valid license. An individual can only be allowed to take a licensing exam after obtaining the right education and skills. This assures prospective customers that they can do the job safely and correctly. A licensed electrician ensures you are dealing with a trained professional and not an amateur.
Also, ask to see their license to check if it is current, and if the electrical problem you need help with is covered by their license.
Does the electrical contractor have insurance to cover for unexpected problems that may arise? The contractor should comply with government requirements and regulations, and one of these is insurance so they could indemnify customers. Check their insurance policies if it is current.
- Value for Money
Are you getting the best rate in the market? It is always best to get at least three price quotations before you decide. Learn to search and compare. Go for services with reasonable rates that you can afford and within your price expectations.
When you ask for their service rate, make sure you give them a good description of the electrical job you require so they could give you a fair and accurate quote.
For certain services like installation of electrical wiring system for a new house, know what their package includes. You do not want to get unexpected additional charges after the work is completed. You should not be paying more for something that should be covered by the service. Ensure you get only the best contractor who can deliver the solutions you need.
The internet abounds with websites that offer customer reviews on various services and products. Check them out to get to know your electrical contractors better and the kind of service they provide. They may not please everyone, but the best ones almost always have glowing and honest reviews from satisfied customers.
You may also ask the contractor for references from previous customers or employers who could vouch for their skill and reliability, among others.
If you know someone who recently had an electrical job done, get in touch with them and ask about their experience and recommendation. A happy customer would always have only good things to say about an electrical contractor.
- Communication and Customer Service
A knowledgeable electrical contractor should be able to explain to you in simple language the complexities of your electrical needs. It could get confusing at times so they should be able to explain it to you without making you feel like you know nothing. It should be explained to you in a friendly tone and manner.
An excellent customer service is a must in this business. Go for someone who listens to you and not someone who gives short, unintelligible answers over the phone without understanding your problem or when you ask for a quote.
Communication is also important to avoid any misunderstanding when the work starts. They should be able to contact you in case they would not make it on the appointed time in case of delays.
They should also be presentable at all times.