5 Tips to Stay Safe During Your Home Reno
Keep your loved ones safe by ensuring your home renovation is compliant.
Photo: Getty Images
You’ve scoured the Internet and read through every home décor magazine to find the perfect style for updating your kitchen, bathroom, or living room. Now you’re finally ready to start—but do you know how to get it done safely? Do you know how to make sure you’re compliant?
Compromising the safety of you and your family is not worth a Pinterest-perfect home. Only licensed professionals are equipped to do the job and keep your family safe. “Safety should be the first priority when conducting renovations and electrical work,” says Soussanna Karas, Director of Licensing at the Electrical Safety Authority. “Not following the right steps can mean putting your home and your family at risk and potentially breaking the law.”
Keep your loved ones safe by ensuring your home renovation is compliant. Here are 5 tips to remember when doing your home renovation:
1. Make a blueprint. Before you start, think through every step of your reno.
Do your research and have a plan for any electrical work your reno will include. Don’t let your home improvement dream become a nightmare.
2. Follow the law. Get to know Ontario’s Electrical Safety Code.
The Code describes all the standards for electrical installations, products, and equipment in Ontario. For an overview, check out ESA’s Flash Notices on the Electrical Safety Code. These cover everything from electrical hazards in daily life, like the dangers of using cleaning products around electrical outlets, to statistics on home renos. Did you know 33% of residential fires link to electrical wiring and equipment? These are important to review before you start your reno.
3. Go with the professionals. Hire an LEC to do your reno.
While family and friends who offer to help mean well, in Ontario, only a Licensed Electrical Contracting (LEC) Business can be hired to do electrical work in your home. LECs have knowledge and the expertise to do the electrical installation safely. Only LECs are bonded and insured—always ask to see their ECRA/ESA licence number before you hire an LEC business to do your reno work. You can find an LEC business near you with ESA’s free tool.
4. Keep ESA in the loop. File a notification.
This is something your LEC business of choice does on your behalf—make sure they are filing the notification within 48 hours of beginning work. It’s a red flag if a contractor asks you to file a notification of work in your name—this could mean you’re working with an unlicensed business. Other warning signs of unlicensed electrical contracting businesses include no ECRA/ESA licence number on their vehicle or offering of discounted services. Keep yourself informed—find the full list of red flags here.
5. Get rewarded. Obtain your certificate of acceptance from ESA.
By following these 5 steps, you will be both following provincial law and making safety your top priority by ensuring a compliant home reno that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.