/R E P E A T -- ESA Inspectors on Site in Tornado Aftermath to Ensure Fast, Safe Restoration of Power/

Residents Advised to Ensure Electrical Repairs Done Safely 

MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) Inspectors have been on-site since the day of the tornado in the Angus, Ontario region assessing damage to buildings and expediting authorizations of power reconnections where it is safe to do so.  They are cautioning local residents to ensure repairs to electrical damage to homes and businesses are done correctly and safely.

"After a devastating event like this, it is critical that electrical damage be identified and repaired correctly or you risk a second tragedy of a fire or shock," said David Collie, President and CEO, Electrical Safety Authority.  "Our inspectors have been on the ground all week and will continue to work closely with local authorities to expedite restoration of power while ensuring safety."

Ensuring Safe Repair of Damage

Severe weather may result in damage to a home or business' electrical system that may not be immediately apparent.  It's important to have the damage assessed by an expert and electrical repairs made immediately.  There are four critical elements that ensure electrical repair work is done legally, safely and fast. 

1. Licensed Electrical Contractor
If you suspect or know of electrical damage to your property, hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to assess the situation and make repairs.  ESA strongly recommends you don't attempt major electrical repairs yourself.

Note that in Ontario if you are hiring someone to do electrical work, they must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor. General handymen and other service providers cannot do this work.  Using an unlicensed person will cause delays in power reconnection and may affect insurance claims.

To find a Licensed Electrical Contractor, go to www.esasafe.com and click on 'Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor in My Area.'   There are more than 7,000 in Ontario.  Licensed Electrical Contractors are required to display their ESA/ECRA licence number on their work vehicle and paperwork.   Look for it when you meet them.

2. Permit
An electrical permit needs to be taken out before or within 48 hours of electrical work starting. If you're doing the electrical work yourself, you need to take out the permit. If you hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor, they must take out the permit. Do not take out a permit on behalf of a contractor or anyone else.    To confirm permit requirements and to get your permit, call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233). 

3. Inspection
ESA's expert Inspectors will review the electrical work.  If the work is done safely and in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, ESA will issue a certificate of inspection. If your contractor took out the permit, get a copy of the certificate for your records and your insurance company.   

4. Reconnection of Power
If you are without power, once the repairs and inspection are complete, ESA will authorize the local distribution company to reconnect power.    

For more information on electrical safety when stormy weather hits, go to www.esasafe.com.  

About the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)
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.

Electrical Safety Authority Customer Service Line: 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233)

SOURCE Electrical Safety Authority

For further information: Electrical Safety Authority Media Relations, 905-712-7819 or Media.ESA@electricalsafety.on.ca, www.esasafe.com