Unauthorized electrical contractors and hazardous electrical products put Ontarians at risk

Electric Safety Authority reminds Ontarians to take action to stay safe

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 2, 2020 / CNW / – As part of Fraud Prevention Month and World Consumer Rights Day, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) shares safety tips with Ontarians to protect themselves and their families, against unlicensed and illegally operating electrical contractors and uncertified electrical products.

“As from ontario electrical safety regulator, ESA focuses on the safety and protection of Ontario consumers, ”explains Dr. Joel moody, head of public security, Electricity Safety Authority. “By using unlicensed electrical contractors, Ontarians are putting their property and their families at risk. The ESA aims to educate Ontarians on how to protect themselves from electrical contractors who engage in fraudulent activity.

Unlicensed Electrical Contractors
Unlicensed contractors who falsely claim they are qualified and licensed to perform this complex, technical work put homeowners and their families at risk of electric shock, fire, and even death.

Licensed electrical contractors are the only companies Ontario legally authorized to perform electrical work. Contractors who perform electrical work without an ECRA / ESA license can face serious consequences, ranging from fines to jail time. Convictions of unlicensed electrical contractors in 2019 on charges brought by ESA increased by 20% from the previous year.

To prevent unlicensed electrical contractors from continuing to put Ontarians at risk, ESA has launched a anonymous reporting tool, allowing anyone to report unauthorized activity. Since the launch in July 2019, 367 reports were made.

Tips for avoiding fraud
Here are some ways Ontarians can avoid falling victim to unauthorized contractors:

  • Ask for an electrician’s ECRA / ESA license number, it should be on their truck and estimate.
  • An unlicensed entrepreneur may falsely claim that he has a license number. Always check for an ECRA / ESA license number or search for it by company name on findacontractor.esasafe.com.
  • Do not trust a contractor if they ask you to take out the work notice (permit) in your name with the Electrical Safety Authority. Hire a licensed electrical contractor for all electrical work in Ontario.
  • Avoid working with contractors who offer a discount if you pay cash, only accept cash, and / or don’t provide a receipt.

Dangerous and / or uncertified electrical products
Before the sale of an electrical product or electrical equipment to Ontario, it must be approved by an accredited certification or assessment agency. Unapproved or uncertified electrical products can pose a serious risk to Ontarians.

“With an increase in online shopping, there is an increased risk of unapproved or unsafe products being sold in Ontario, says Dr. Joel moody, head of public security, Electricity Safety Authority. “Whether you buy a product online or in a store, always make sure to look for a recognized certification mark. This is how you know the product is safe to use in Ontario. “

A list of recognized certification marks is available here. If you have an electrical product that you believe poses a risk, you can report it here: esaproductsafety.com.

About the Electrical Safety Authority
The role of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is to improve 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, licensing of electrical contractors and master electricians, safety of the electrical distribution system, and the safety of electrical products. ESA works closely with stakeholders across the province on education, training and promotion to promote electrical safety across the province. More information on the Electrical Safety Authority can be found on esasafe.com, via Twitter at https://twitter.com/homeandsafety and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ElectricalSafetyAuthority. The ESA Customer Service Center can be reached at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).

SOURCE Electrical Safety Authority

For more information: Electrical Safety Authority Media Relations, 905-712-7819 or [email protected]

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Patricia D. Rutt