Are you being ripped off without a license?

This November a San Antonio sting operation apprehended 42 unlicensed electricians over three days. Each phony electrician faced up to $5,0000 in state fines. The whole operation may seem excessive for apparently harmless do-it-yourself handymen. But the real dangers of using an unlicensed electrical contractor makes this police action a no-brainer. Without a license, customers can’t know that a contractor is thoroughly trained and educated, will be held accountable for his mistakes, and is insured for any damages done.

 “No License” Means “No Promises”

Licensing ensures quality education and training. Most licensed electrical contractors go through a demanding four-year apprenticeship. Each year requires 144 hours of technical education and 2,000 hours of on-site training.

By the time he graduates each apprentice has completed almost 600 hours of technical education and 8,000 hours of on-site training. Only then does he take a final certification exam. If he passes and get licensed, he has to retake this test at least every five years. This assures that licensed electricians are experts. But with unlicensed electricians, you don’t know what they know, and neither do they.

Electrical wiring is an immensely complicated and technical science. Without a formal, comprehensive, and tested education run by veteran electricians, how can a do-it-yourself handyman know what he’s missing? No matter how professional he may look, when it comes to your family’s safety, you can’t risk poor training. Just remember, no license means no promises

Dead Wires to Short Outs, Electrocution to Fire.

Just as you wouldn’t let a man without a driver’s license take your family and all your possessions across the city or the state, you shouldn’t let an unlicensed contractor wire your home. His lack of knowledge and skill could cause many problems, from dead wires to short outs, from electrocution to fire.

Each year over 23,000 residential fires lead to over 300 deaths and almost $100 million dollars in direct loss. The consequences of hiring an unlicensed contractor range from inconvenience to disaster. Of course a licensed electrician can makes mistakes. However, his license also helps with the consequences.

Accountability is your best protection

When an electrician gets licensed he joins an official database which tracks his performance. This holds him accountable for his mistakes. Before you hire a licensed electrician, you can always check his record. Then, if you find a problem in his work, you can find the licensed electrician who caused it. This isn’t true for unlicensed electricians.

An unlicensed electrical contractor can simply disappear. Whether the lights in your kitchen stop working or your child’s room burns down, you may never find the man responsible. Furthermore, because nobody records his performance, he can continue to harm other people. In every case his damages will not only go unaccounted for, they will go uncompensated. This isn’t true for a licensed worker.

Ensured Insurance

State licensing requires electrical contractors to carry liability insurance. If a licensed contractor does screws up, not only will you always be able to hold him accountable, you will also be compensated for the damages. By no means do unlicensed contractors promise this. In fact, many insurance companies won’t cover these contractors because of the risks we listed above. They understand the risks of investing in an unlicensed contractor.

For all these reasons our state government has been doing its duty to ensure that electricians get licensed. And so are we. All GPS electricians are state licensed. This ensures quality, safety, accountability, and compensation.  Our licenses mean our promises.

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