Should I Hire A Licensed Electrician?
By Terry Giguere
Owner, Lawndale Electric
Sometimes it may seem attractive to reduce the cost of a home project by employing the services of the neighborhood handyman, or buying your brother-in-law a six pack and turning him loose. That strategy may work on some small, non-hazardous projects, but electrical work surely isn’t one of them.
Ask anybody who has felt the frightening sensation of 120 volts of power rumbling through their arms; electricity is nothing to play around with. A single mistake in wiring could create fire hazard or a short circuit that could give a family member quite a jolt.
Aside from the obvious safety issues, you may be shocked to learn that you can be liable for medical bills—or even legal action—if an unlicensed amateur gets hurt while working in your home.
Those are two important reasons why you should always hire a licensed contractor to handle your electrical projects.
Before obtaining their license, electricians in Ohio must have at least five years of experience working in the field, pass an examination, and carry a minimum $500,000 contractor liability coverage. Licensed electricians are required to take continuing education classes to remain current with code and safety issues.
Just because a contractor is listed in the phone book or in a classified ad, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is licensed. In fact, most people may be surprised to know that residential construction contractors don’t need to be licensed to do business in Ohio.
The Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board licenses commercial contractors for electrical, HVAC, hydronics, plumbing, and refrigeration work, but it does not license residential or general contractors. However, many municipalities do require residential contractors to be licensed. It’s easy to find out whether your electrician is licensed. You can call your local building department, or you can verify a contractor’s license online.
Lawndale Electric is located at 4841 Laurel Road, in Brunswick, Ohio. You can call the company at 216-777-1708, or visit the Lawndale Electric HGExpo Exhibit