The Electrical Safety Authority is issuing a warning to Thunder Bay area residents after a contractor in the city was convicted and fined $3,750 for doing electrical work without a licence.

Gino Macchi was found guilty in a Thunder Bay court Oct. 31, on a charge relating to performing electrical work illegally.

The ESA reported in a recent news release that, when a homeowner hired Macchi to replace an electrical panel, he had the homeowner take out the electrical permit in their name for the panel change.

As part of a routine inspection, an ESA inspector witnessed Macchi working on the panel change and recognized him as being an unlicensed contractor.

Macchi had been previously warned by ESA investigators in 2009 that his actions — doing electrical work without an electrical contractor’s licence – were illegal.

As result, the homeowner had to hire a licensed electrical contractor to complete the panel change and ensure the work was done to Code.

Normand Breton

Normand Breton, registrar and director of Contractor Licensing and Powerline Safety at ESA. (Source: www.electrofed.com)

“Homeowners don’t realize that the unlicensed person will, in many cases, make errors that will not only be costly to fix but, more importantly, could also cause serious injury from a shock or cause a fire that could destroy the home,” said Normand Breton, registrar and director of Contractor Licensing and Powerline Safety at ESA.

“Hiring a licensed electrical contractor helps homeowners avoid major safety issues, extra cost and the risk that home insurance won’t cover a claim.”

The ESA reminds consumers to consider the following guidelines when hiring someone to do electrical work:

  • Check to ensure the contractor holds a valid ECRA/ESA electrical contractor licence (search the database at www.esasafe.com).
  • Confirm that they are arranging the  appropriate inspections from ESA.
  • Call ESA at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1-877-372-7233) if you suspect someone is misrepresenting themselves.

“Don’t settle the final bill until you have the Certificate of Inspection in hand,” Breton added.

The ESA is administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario that is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of electrical contractors and master electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety.