CINCINNATI - Thompson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, a Cincinnati HVAC contractor, recently introduced a program that is designed to assure homeowners of their safety and security when inviting a contractor into their homes. The "Technician Seal of Safety" is a symbol that conveys to a homeowner a contractor's commitment to conducting criminal background checks and regular drug testing on technicians who enter private homes.

It has been the policy of Thompson to conduct background checks and perform regular drug testing as allowed by law. "We know how important it is to make a homeowner feel safe when a technician enters their home," said Wesley Holm, president of Thompson. Hundreds of incidents are reported each year involving homeowners being victimized by home service technicians.

"It's scary to learn that only a handful of all contractors actually practice this policy of conducting background checks and drug testing...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,'" he said.

The "Technician Seal of Safety" was adopted by Thompson to display its commitment to conducting background checks and performing drug testing on all personnel. Like many industries facing a shortage of qualified personnel, the home services industry tends to fill vacancies quickly and with little scrutiny of candidates during the hiring process. That is not the case at Thompson.

"We follow the most stringent hiring policies allowed by law," said Holm. "We know our customers deserve the peace of mind in knowing that our employees are safe and the best in the business."

According to IMI Data Search, a company that conducts background checks on potential hires, some industries experience a ratio as high as one out of four when it comes to applicants who turn out to have a criminal record. That statistic, combined with numerous incidents of violence against homeowners by contract workers, indicates the growing importance of hiring contractors who embrace policies of background checks and drug testing.

In response to an incident in Florida where a convicted sex offender who had performed duct cleaning in her home killed a woman, the Georgia General Assembly drew up House Bill 620 in February 2005. The bill requires an employer to run a background check on an employee before the worker can enter someone's home.

"When hiring a contractor to come into your home, most people don't consider their personal safety or the safety of their family," noted Holm. "In light of the recent apprehension of a suspected serial rapist in the Cincinnati area, we want to make sure that homeowners, including women who may feel uncomfortable at home alone with a technician, the elderly, or disabled, realize the importance of calling a contractor who displays the ‘Technician Seal of Safety.'

"At Thompson, we stand behind the seal to demonstrate how strongly we feel about our customers and our community."

For more information about the Technician Seal of Safety, visit

Publication date: 03/20/2006