When you’re called on to wire – or re-wire – a whole house, whether it’s new construction or an upgrade to the existing structure, you need to keep safety as your number one priority. Not only your safety as you work but the safety of those who will work in, live in or use the space for years to come. By incorporating wiring for fire and safety features – including the ability to relocate vital fixtures like fire alarms and intruder alarms, you’ll make your mark as an electrician whose dedication to his clients goes above and beyond that of the competition.
Creating Versatile Wiring
When wiring for fire and safety features, the word to keep in mind is versatility. Placing the lines to hardwire in smoke alarms or fire detectors above each bedroom door is common sense but including the ability to add on additional safety features – like flashing light alarms, for example, if your clients are aging and may lose their hearing – is good practice. Leaving your work finished but able to be modified and upgraded by yourself or another contractor in the future is also good practice. When in doubt, the rule of thumb is to make it as easy as possible for “the next guy” – and hopefully, the “next guy” will be you.
Location is Everything
Some locations you can always count on to have safety features installed — those bedroom doors, for example. But what a property owner does to the structure after you’re long gone is anyone’s guess. A decent sized house may, in the future, be split into a duplex, for example. The homeowner may decide they need a smoke detector by their laundry room or a carbon monoxide detector at the room holding a gas furnace.
Leave your wiring clear, simple and easy to follow so that any additional future installs can be completed with minimum fuss.? By keeping your wiring in new construction as simple as possible, you’ll lessen the chance of having a call back to help with future installs, sure, but you’ll also make it easier on your clients.
An Opportunity to Upsell
By discussing key fire and safety features with your clients, you’ll have a valuable opportunity to upsell your clients. It’s no big thing, for example, to wire in a carbon monoxide detector when you install fire alarms, but it adds a nice little bit of extra income to your invoice.? When wiring in motion sensor lights, consider upselling door and window alarms or motion-activated security cameras. Tailor your sales pitch so you don’t sound predatory, but definitely, mention that it’s possible to add in other features — now or in the future. Plant the seeds of the idea as you work.
Safety and Security for Non-Residential Clients
Commercial and non-residential clients already have a pretty clear idea of what they want or need — but can always change their minds as their space is used. Do your best to keep your wiring up to standards while leaving it easy for the next electrician to add on safety features or alter the existing ones as technology advances — extra receptacles near doors, for example, can power security cameras whose need only becomes apparent later. Keep things even more versatile, easy and accessible than you would for non-residential clients.
What’s your favorite upsell for security and safety installs?