Unlicensed electrician fined after causing fire in Hamilton home
Published August 1, 2023 at 2:54 pm
A man was convicted and fined $7,500 for operating an electrical contracting business without a licence, which resulted in a fire at his client’s home in Hamilton.
Jacson Tabunot pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine, plus a victim surcharge of $1,875, on June 15 for work he conducted at a Hamilton residence.
A homeowner hired Tabunot for a basement renovation, which included electrical, painting and the addition of a new bathroom, according to a press release by Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).
From Nov. 1, 2021, to Feb. 28, 2022, Tabunot installed new switches, pot lights and outlets at the home, the Electrical Safety Authority said.
But the unlicensed contractor had “removed the backing of the pot lights, covered junction boxes with drywall, and used out-of-code materials.”
This resulted in a fire caused by shorted wires, which damaged a big portion of the property, costing the homeowners nearly $10,000. The ESA found that Tabunot was operating without an electrical contractor’s licence and had failed to apply for an electrical permit for the work he was doing.
“Illegal electrical work can have serious consequences, including fires or even electrocution,” said Emily Larose, vice-president of regulatory and general counsel at the Electrical Safety Authority, in a statement. “To ensure that your electrical work is safe and compliant, it’s critical that you hire only Licensed Electrical Contractors who file a notification of work with the Electrical Safety Authority.”
The Mississauga-based Electrical Safety Authority is a not-for-profit watchdog acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario to oversee compliance and education about the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
“The only way to be sure that your electrical work is safe and compliant with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code is to hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor who has proper qualifications to conduct the work, carries liability insurance, and obtains a permit from the Electrical Safety Authority for the work to be done,” the organization said.
Licensed electrical contractors can be found by visiting HireLicensed.ca.
Unlicensed electrical contractors can be reported anonymously at esasafe.com/reportacontractor.
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