Not everyone with a toolbox is qualified to do electrical work. In fact, electrical power is one of the many trades industries rife with less-than-qualified individuals masquerading as licensed professionals. While some homeowners may be tempted to save some money and cut corners by going with an unlicensed electrician the results can be catastrophic.
Cutting Corners Puts Families at Risk
In the interest of public safety, the government is increasingly cracking down on unlicensed individuals pretending to be licensed contractors. In 2017, an Ontario man was fined $50,000 and spent five days in jail for working without an electrical contractor’s license and failing to apply for an electrical inspection.
A similar event happened in 2018 when an Ontario family hired an unlicensed handyman to install landscape lighting. The handyman, who was not trained in electrical work and did not know the difference between interior and exterior cables, dug a shallow trench beside the family’s driveway and laid interior grade cables.
He obviously hadn’t considered the fact that someone might accidentally cut through the cable while shovelling snow or that erosion could have exposed the cables to children playing in the yard, with potentially fatal results. He never got the chance, because he died of accidental electrocution while doing the install.
Inspectors later found between twenty and thirty defects in the sixty feet of cable the unlicensed handyman had installed before he died, any one of which could have caused serious harm or damage.
Incidents like this prompted the Ontario government to pass a law requiring that all electrical contractors be listened by the Electrical Contractor Registration Agency of the Electrical Safety Authority.
The law also requires that consumers only hire licensed electrical contractors for any residential renovations that require electrical work, no matter how minor the job may appear.
Shoddy electrical work is a public safety hazard.
Shoddy Electrical Work Could Void Your Home Insurance Policy
Should your house catch fire because of poorly done electrical work you not only endanger your family, you may put your home insurance policy in jeopardy as well.
As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you only hire licensed electrical technicians to do work on your home, so work done by an unlicensed handyman will likely not be covered.
When house fires occur, insurance companies send licensed inspectors to determine the cause of the blaze and decide if your family qualifies for an insurance payout. If you are found to be negligent you may not receive an insurance payout, leaving you and your family scrambling to replace your home and belongings without financial assistance.
Hire Licensed Professionals
The best way to ensure your family stays safe is to only hire licensed contractors to do any work on your home. Not only will a licensed professional provide you with quality work that is up to code, they will also make sure to do so in a safe manner.
Licensed professionals also ensure that all relevant building permits are in place. Though licensed professionals tend to charge slightly more than an unlicensed handyman it is worth the extra money. Before you hire anyone to do electrical work be sure to review their qualifications and check to make sure they are properly licensed.
Electrical wiring is not for hobbyists, and poorly done work puts everyone at risk.