Online game helps Ontarians spot electrical hazards lurking in their homes

Electrical Safety Authority's 'Hazardous Homes' game shows consumers how renovations can go wrong when an unlicensed person does the electrical work, and how to get it done right. 

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - A new interactive, online game teaches Ontarians about electrical risks in and around the home and the importance of hiring only Licensed Electrical Contractors for residential electrical work.  Launching today, Hazardous Homes (www.HazardousHomes.ca) challenges participants to identify what caused an electrical fire, injury or issue through a series of realistic case files based on problems the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) frequently finds in Ontario homes.

Weekly prizes and a grand prize are up for grabs. Each solved case earns the participant one contest entry, with a weekly $100 gift card prize available.  The grand prize is a $1,000 gift card. The contest period runs from Oct. 14 to Nov. 14, 2014.

"Many Ontarians are unaware that electrical dangers lurking within their walls and attics can be easily avoided," says Scott Saint, Chief Public Safety Officer with ESA. "Knowing the signs of trouble and hiring the right person to fix it makes all the difference in preventing injuries such as shocks or burns, and preventing a potential fire."

Some of the most common electrical hazards found in and around the home by ESA, include:

  • Loose outlet connections
  • Improper and unsafe wiring
  • Ungrounded electrical outlets
  • Old, frayed or deteriorated wiring
  • Damaged extension cords

The game demonstrates that hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor makes all the difference in preventing electricity-related injury or major property damage.  A Licensed Electrical Contractor has met qualifications to run an electrical contracting business in Ontario and has a licence issued by ESA.  That licence number is displayed on their truck, estimates and other business materials. 

Hiring a licensed electrical contractor not only means the work is legally done but also:

  • You don't risk having a home insurance claim refused based on using unauthorized service provider;
  • You will receive an ESA certificate of inspection, often required by insurance companies;
  • You will receive a written cost estimate of work; and
  • You won't be liable for medical costs if a worker is injured while working in your home.

"Serious electrical hazards can lead to disastrous consequences, which is why electrical work is best left to a licensed electrical contractor who will do the job right, the first time," adds Saint.  "If you don't, you run the risk of having to spend money you thought you saved – and much more – fixing problems later on. Hiring a licensed electrical contractor gives you additional peace of mind that the work will be safe and insurable by meeting the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. "

The Hazardous Homes game features nine cases with realistic images as well as mock fire incident reports and witness statements. This evidence helps participants identify the electrical hazards that led to the incidents, while teaching the amateur sleuths what caused the problem and how it could have been avoided.

For more electrical safety information and tips on how to spot an unlicensed electrical contractor, play the game at www.HazardousHomes.ca or visit www.esasafe.com.

About the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province on education, training and promotion to foster electrical safety across the province. More information on the Electrical Safety Authority can be found at www.esasafe.com, through Twitter @HomeandSafety and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ElectricalSafetyAuthority

SOURCE: Electrical Safety Authority

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

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