The sharp decline in the single-family housing construction market has some residential electrical contractors scrambling for new ways to promote themselves. But with dozens of companies vying for the same revenue, how do you distinguish yourself from the competition?

One company, E&S Electric, Inc., Mt. Horeb, Wis., and its residential service division, EaSy Electric, found a way to protect its bottom line by offering homeowners increased safety and security when inviting them into their homes. The “Technician Seal of Safety” symbol lets homeowners know that EaSy conducts criminal background checks and regular drug testing on all technicians who enter private homes.

Think you or your customers aren't at risk? According IM Data Search, a company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that performs background checks on potential hires, some industries have a ratio as high as one in four applicants who possess a criminal record. This statistic, combined with a dwindling qualified workforce and reports of violence against homeowners by contract workers, emphasizes the need for hiring companies who have a stringent policy of conducting background checks and drug testing.

“It's scary to learn that only a handful of contractors conduct background checks and randomly drug test their employees,” says Irv Eichorst, president of E&S Electric. “That's why we feel it's so important to give homeowners a visual symbol that tells them their personal safety is not at risk when they hire a contractor who displays the Technician Seal of Safety.”

People who may consider hiring contractors that perform background/drug checks include:

  • women at home alone or with small children during the day

  • elderly homeowners

  • disabled individuals

  • anyone concerned about their personal safety and/or the security of their home.