electrical products

Product Safety Regulation 438 / 07

The Ontario government has given ESA a mandate to improve electrical product safety for the public. To do this, we anticipate, understand, and mitigate identified electrical product-related harms. Our activities include training, inspection, investigation and enforcement.

We share a role with Health Canada in managing the safety of consumer electrical products sold and used in Ontario. (See below.)  

For product safety issues, ESA usually gets involved when we hear of an incident or unsafe product. We review the cause and recommend actions when required. This may include updating product safety standards. For example, ESA identified electric coil stovetops as fire risks. We worked with other regulators, standards developers and appliance manufacturers to limit the heat these stovetops could generate. We also promoted retrofitting these stovetops in high-risk communities.

As new products and technologies hit the market, we proactively work together to develop safety standards. We do so by partnering with standards development organizations like CSA (Canadian Standards Association). We also collaborate with manufacturers, as we did with the stovetops.

Who manages electrical product safety?

ESA administers the Product Safety Regulation (O. Reg. 438/07), which came into effect in 2007. Under this law, ESA’s role includes:

  • Review serious incidents involving electrical products. 
  • Look into commercial and industrial electrical products with identified safety issues. These include defects in their design, construction or functioning.
  • Alert the public to an industrial or commercial electrical product that poses a risk, has a defect or was in a serious incident. 
  • Revoke or suspend approval of electrical products found unsafe or not built to meet standards. 
  • Revoke the recognition of a certification body or field evaluation agency

Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, (CCPSA) Health Canada’s role is:

  • To look into incidents involving consumer electrical products.
  • To provide public notice when these products pose a risk, have a defect or are in a serious incident.

The Ontario Electrical Safety Code also has rules that govern electrical product safety. Rule 2-022 deals with preventing the sale or use of unapproved electrical equipment in Ontario. Rule 2-024 deals with approval requirements for electrical products in Ontario.

The Guidelines for Field Evaluation Agencies establishes safety and operational guidelines for field evaluation of electrical equipment that all Field Evaluation (FE) agencies shall follow.