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Electric vehicle safety blitz in Toronto finds “concerning number of unsafe charging methods”

September 6, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

September 6, 2023 – At the end of a recent safety blitz targeting electric vehicle charging systems in Toronto, Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority found more than 400 incidents of work without a permit.

Further, “a concerning number of unsafe charging methods” were uncovered, such as extension cords laying across sidewalks and EV chargers being mounted on trees.

These discoveries, says ESA, underscore the pressing need to enhance awareness around charging EVs safely.

“With more Ontarians using electric vehicles, prioritizing safe charging practices is critical,” said Steve Nelson, ESA. “By purchasing a certified charging system and having a licensed electrical contractor with an ESA permit install it, Ontarians can contribute to a safer EV ecosystem.”

ESA recommends the following to ensure a compliant EV charger installation:

Purchase an EV charger approved for use in Canada. An EV charging system must carry the official mark or label of a recognized certification or evaluation agency.

Hire an LEC. When hiring someone to do electrical work in your home, Ontario law decrees it must be a licensed electrical contractor with an ECRA/ESA licence.

Get a notification of work (i.e. permit). The LEC performing the installation must file a notification of work with ESA before starting the installation. Get a copy for your records. The LEC will also provide you with an ESA Certificate of Acceptance once the work has been completed and accepted as complying with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

Contact your local electric utility. EVs can draw a lot of power, so it is important to ensure a home’s electrical panel can handle the load. In conjunction with the electric utility, an LEC can help homeowners assess and/or upgrade their panels.

Electrical Safety Authority 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.

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