Getting Ready to Start Spring Renovations? Make Sure Electrical Work is Legal and Done Right!

The Electrical Safety Authority urges Ontarians to always hire a licensed electrical contractor

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 18, 2014 /CNW/ - If you're among those who are done with 'polar vortexes', mild weather is just around the corner and with it the opportunity to assess the state of your home and start thinking about renovations and repairs.

The ESA reminds homeowners to take the necessary safety precautions when doing electrical work. To avoid risks, Ontarians are urged to hire a Licenced Electrical Contractor for all electrical jobs.

"We've gone through a very long winter and many Ontarians are anxious to get started on home improvements or repairs," says Earl Davison, Vice President, Operations with the Electrical Safety Authority. "If you're thinking of hiring someone to do electrical work in your home, remember that licenced electrical contractors are the only tradespeople who can legally do the job."

The ESA is in the midst of a province-wide public-safety awareness campaign, both through traditional media and social media platforms, to drive this message home. The ESA has also produced a video entitled Electrical Safety Hazards at Home that features electrical safety tips in a fun and informative manner. The video can be viewed on: https://www.youtube.com/user/ElectricalSafetyESA

Designed to inform and educate Ontarians about the risks associated with electrical work, the video reminds the public that electrical work can be complicated and should be left to a trained, licenced professional. In fact, any individual (certified or not) who is not working under a licenced electrical contracting business is breaking the law, is not legally allowed to arrange for an electrical permit, and is not required to offer consumer protection, such as liability insurance.

Follow these 3 steps to ensure your electrical work is being done legally:

  1. Check that you are hiring a licensed electrical contractor for your electrical work. (you can search the database at www.esasafe.com)
  2. Confirm that arrangements have been made to have the appropriate inspections from ESA.
  3. Be sure to ask for your Certificate of Inspection before finalizing your payment. This is your assurance that the work completed meets the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

"If electrical work is done without a permit, you'll be missing another critical element of protection against electrical safety hazards - a review or follow-up inspection of the electrical work that's been done in your home," adds Davison, noting that this critical step in the process provides homeowners with safeguards against fire or shock. "You'll also receive a Certificate of Inspection which is your assurance that the work meets the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Not having one can leave you at financial risk: not being covered by insurance should damage result from improper wiring."

The Electrical Safety Authority encourages all Ontario residents to visit www.pluginsafely.ca to find a licenced electrical contractor in their area before beginning any electrical work.

About the Electrical Safety Authority
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario with specific responsibilities under the Electricity Act and the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act.  As part of its mandate, ESA is responsible for administering regulation in four key areas: the Ontario Electrical Safety Code; licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians; electrical distribution safety; and electrical product safety.

ESA's activities include: identifying and targeting leading causes of electrical risk; promoting awareness, education and training on electrical safety; ensuring compliance with regulations; investigating fatalities, injuries and fire losses associated with electricity; and engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to improve safety.  In 2010, ESA launched a five-year Harm Reduction Strategy which targets a 30 per cent reduction of electrical fatalities by 2015.  For more information on ESA, go to www.esasafe.com.

SOURCE Electrical Safety Authority

For further information:

Electrical Safety Authority Media Relations
905-712-7819 or Media.ESA@electricalsafety.on.ca