Electrical problems were responsible for 13 percent of home structure fires between 2012 and 2016. Furthermore, home electrical fires cause about 500 deaths and over 1,400 injuries each year.

Faulty outlets, outdated wiring, and the misuse of electric cords are all common causes of electric fires. Not to mention faulty space heaters and light fixtures! Any of these issues can damage your property.

Most homeowners call professional electricians when dealing with an emergency. As you probably know, prevention is the best defense. If you notice anything unusual about your electric system, reach out to a professional immediately.

Electrical issues can escalate quickly. Every minute matters. Therefore, it’s important to know when and who to call.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Follow these steps to find the best electrician in your area.

Ask for References

Start by asking your friends and neighbors for references. Ideally, do it ahead of time so you can make a list of contacts.

If your home ever catches fire, you might not have the time to find an electrician right away. Keep a contacts list at hand at all times. Place it on the kitchen counter, in a drawer, or in the hallway.

Have you just moved? No problem. Your new neighbors won’t mind recommending an electrician if you ask them for references.

Another option is to contact the electricity provider in your area and ask for recommendations. Or you can go to a local tool store, make a small purchase, and ask the salespeople. Their clientele includes professional electricians, so they may know someone who can help you.

Determine What You Need

Electricians typically specialize in one area or another. There are commercial or residential electricians, maintenance electricians, journeymen, and more. Each area of expertise requires specialized training.

Journeymen, for example, work in commercial, residential, and industrial settings. They have the skills and knowledge required to install, alter, and fix electrical equipment. Their work is overseen by master electricians.

If, say, you want to keep your heating system in top shape, reach out to a maintenance electrician. If you’re planning to replace your lighting system, an installation electrician can help.

Some electricians specialize in security systems and fire alarms. Others perform repairs and maintenance work for transformers, compressors, fans, and so on. Decide what kind of service you need when looking for the best electrician in your area.

Check Their Background and Qualifications

Except for small fixes, most electrical work should be done by licensed electricians. This kind of work carries a high risk of injury, and all the safety precautions must be followed.

Electricians need to follow three steps to get their license. First, they must complete a four-year apprenticeship program under the guidance of a master electrician. Next, they must undergo formal training for one year and then pass several exams.

Licensing requirements vary among states. Therefore, it’s important to research the local laws and make sure you choose a qualified electrician. Again, you may contact the local electricity provider and request more information.

When looking for an electrician, check their experience and insurance status too. If you hire an uninsured electrician, you’ll be responsible for any accidents that may occur during installation or repair.

Make a list of professional electricians in your area, check their websites or social media pages, and inquire about their background by phone or email. If they are licensed and registered, it should be easy to find this information online.

Get Multiple Quotes

The cost of electrical work depends on your location as well as on the project, materials used, and other factors. It also varies from one service provider to the next. Read more now so you know what to expect.

Light switch installation, for example, costs anywhere between $150 and $250. Installing electrical wires, on the other hand, can go up to $10,000.

Most electricians charge around $40 to $100 per hour, depending on their experience and type of work. Don’t cut corners when hiring one. Price isn’t the only factor that should drive your decision.

Sure, there is some wiggle room when it comes to small projects. If, say, you’re looking for someone to replace a light switch, you may be able to negotiate the price to get a better deal. However, it’s not smart to do when dealing with larger projects, such as installing a new electric system.

Try to get at least three quotes from different providers. Compare them side-by-side, see what’s included, and make a decision accordingly.

Read Customer Reviews

Most consumers research the products they are interested in before making a purchase. You should do the same when it comes to service providers, including professional electricians.

Do a quick search online to see what other customers are saying about the companies on your list. Don’t rely solely on the reviews featured on their websites. Check out local business directories like Yelp, Bing Places, and the Yellow Book for unbiased reviews and testimonials.

If you need major electric work done, consider reaching out to previous customers. Ask about their experience with the company or contractors you’re interested in. Use this information along with what you already know in order to make the right decision.

Hire Professional Electricians You Can Trust

Finding a qualified electrician isn’t rocket science, but you still need to do some research beforehand. Ask for recommendations, compare multiple quotes, and discuss your needs with several contractors.

Look for professional electricians who specialize in the type of work you need to be done. Check their credentials to make sure they are fully licensed and insured.

In the meantime, browse the rest of our blog for more tips on how to keep your home in top shape! We’ll show you how to deal with common plumbing issues, where to find quality outdoor furniture, and more. Plus, we have a ton of DIY tips to help you get things done on a budget.