Electrical safety and your clients
The following article is a guest column from HCRA.
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) regulates and promotes electrical safety in Ontario so people can live, work and play safely, free from electrical harm.
ESA administers Part VIII of the Electricity Act and oversees four related regulations:
- Ontario Electrical Safety Code
- Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians
- Electrical Distribution Safety
- Electrical Product Safety
Real estate professionals will sometimes have discussions with clients about electrical work in their homes. As such, ESA is an important regulatory body for you to be familiar with.
Almost all electrical installations done in the home legally require a notification of work (a permit) to be filed with ESA and reviewed by an ESA inspector. If the electrical work passes, ESA will issue a Certificate of Acceptance, which is an important document for home insurance and resale purposes. Failure to file for an ESA certificate may negatively affect insurance claims in the case of an insurable event.
ESA has seen a trend of more pot light installations being done by unlicensed contractors and performed without filing a notification. Defects have been found in some of these installations, which puts homeowners at risk of electrical events, including fires. These unsafe installations have been noted in new builds in Brampton and Caledon in particular.
ESA would like to remind RECO registrants to advise clients to always hire a licensed electrical contracting business for electrical work. Only licensed electrical contracting businesses are bonded and insured, so please advise clients to check their contractor’s ECRA/ESA licence number, which should be displayed on the contractor’s website and business cards. Real estate professionals play an important role in helping to protect their clients beyond the real estate transaction, and this includes illegal electrical work.