Security System Credentials: Don’t Get Burned By Fly-By-Night Contractors
Installing a security system isn’t like installing a satellite dish: you can’t just do a quick Craigslist search and have someone come to your house and do a bang-up installation job.
Unfortunately, there are a number of so-called professional home and business security companies out there that misrepresent their actual licensing and certifications, and whose employees pose as legitimate, authorized burglar alarm installation technicians when the reality is quite different.
Before you hire an individual or company to assist you with your purchase and installation of a home security system or a business alarm system it’s important to check your local laws to ensure that everything is being done by the book.
Some states are quite specific about regulating who exactly is authorized to run this type of business – and quite rightly, given what’s at stake when it comes to electronically protecting your loved ones and your property.
In Massachusetts, for example, anyone who wants to legally install a security system must have an S-license. An S-license is required (in addition to an electrical license) to sell most home burglar and business security equipment – as well as service and install it. Massachusetts also takes things a step further in order to protect citizens by requiring that all employees of a company run by an S-license holder undergo criminal background checks and hold Certificates of Clearance before they can start work.
How can you protect yourself against unscrupulous freelance contractors or fly-by-night security companies looking to make a quick buck? The answer is easy: ask for proof of certification and licensing from your state before getting a quote or having a representative visit your home. If the person you’re speaking to balks or stalls at this request, then you have the answer you need, as a true security systems professional wouldn’t hesitate to list his extensive qualifications.
It can be tempting to save cash on home expenses, especially if you’re already dealing with the typically high costs associated with a new home. However, it’s important to resist the temptation to cut corners when it comes to the security of your family and property. Unlicensed technicians might promise you a good deal upfront, but the first time your burglar alarm system fails to alert you of a break-in or other issue you could find yourself instantly regretting that you didn’t hire a recognized, legitimate security professional.