In Ontario, there's a self-supporting non-profit company that exists to administrate the Electricity Act of 1998. You may not have heard of them before, but if you're planning on buying or altering a new house, you should be familiar with who they are and what they do or you risk tripping over some laws that they're required to enforce. To learn more about the Ontario Electrical Safety Authority, you can visit their website at www.esainspection.net or you can read our guide to the Ontario Electrical Safety Authority and how it can affect you.
Because the Ontario Electrical Safety Authority is responsible for public electrical safety in the province, it has its fingers in a lot of different pies. It puts the word out about unsafe electrical products to help the public make responsible choices when buying products for their real estate that use electricity. They also compile statistics on electricity safety and usage, keep a central report databank of incidents involving electrical devices, and perform inspections on electrical wiring and devices. It is these inspections that are most likely to directly affect you.
For instance, did you know that if you're planning on doing renovations that include electrical work on your home, or on building a new home entirely, you have to get a permit from the Ontario Electrical Safety Authority? It's not just London architects that have to do this, either, it's ordinary homeowners like you. To get your permit, the ESA has to inspect the work that you have done on your home to make sure it meets the standards of safety laid out in the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. After the inspection is complete, you get a certificate.
You can view a copy of the code on their website before you start your renovations if you're worried about whether or not you're doing it right. Legal documents are not always easy to understand, though, so you can also do a workshop through the ESA that will teach you how to wire your house safely. If you're not sure whether your proposed renovations will meet code or not, you can submit your plans to the ESA for a Plan Review prior to carrying out the renovations.
If renovations have been done on your home under the table or you're worried about whether your home's wiring is safe, you can contact the ESA and arrange for an inspection. These voluntary inspections are designed to uncover electrical flaws in London, Ontario homes that could pose a safety hazard. If you know of a building, home, or business that had unapproved or unsafe electrical equipment in it, you can report them to the ESA for inspection.