Stay safe from electrical fraudsters

Now more than ever, it’s important for you to be aware of the fraudulent services that could put you and your family at risk – physically and financially.

Last year, the Electrical Safety Authority received more than 350 anonymous tips of unlicensed contractors performing electrical work in Ontario. These fraudulent workers put homeowners and their families at risk of electrical shock, fire, and even death.

To help keep you and your family safe, follow these tips:

Hire a professional

You wouldn’t think twice about hiring a lawyer, accountant or mechanic, and you would never trust an uncertified doctor to perform a surgery – so why would you trust an unlicensed contractor to do electrical work in your home? In Ontario, only a Licensed Electrical Contractor can legally do electrical work for hire, and they will file the necessary notification of work (permit) and provide a Certificate when work is complete.

Do your homework

When looking to hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor be sure to do your research. This includes asking for their ECRA/ESA licence number and verifying it. This number should be on their work vehicle, business card, and any paper and estimates related to the job. Unlicensed contractors often can be identified by the use of unbranded vehicles with no licence number visible or may falsely use the licence number of another contractor.

Look for red flags

You may know someone who can do the work cheaply, but consider the real cost if something goes wrong. If a contractor asks you to file a notification of work in your name, offers a discount if you pay them in cash or won’t provide a receipt, they may not be licenced to perform electrical work.

Before starting electrical work in your home, find or verify a Licensed Electrical Contractor in your area. Visit

credit: Newscanada