person checking equipment

As the Province Opens Up, ESA offers Tips to Safely Open Your Businesses

Electrical Safety Authority offers important electrical safety information before re-opening  

Mississauga, ON – July 13, 2021 — With the province ready to enter step three, many businesses that have been closed for extended periods are about to re-open. Before you open up the office, gym or start accepting patrons for some long awaited entertainment, it is pertinent to do a proper safety check to ensure electrical equipment is ready for use. 

The Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) requires all electrical equipment to be in safe and proper working condition. The OESC also requires that any equipment used infrequently be maintained for “future service.” 

“Many of us haven’t been doing our regular activities for a long time, and it is important to check the equipment before we use it,” said Dr. Joel Moody, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “Failures in electrical equipment can lead to serious injuries and fires. For everyone’s safety, before opening up your business, make sure that your electrical equipment is properly maintained and ready for use.”

Electrical products, from coffee makers and photocopiers to treadmills and the popcorn machine at the movie theatre, may deteriorate due to disuse, and should be checked before returning them to normal service. Use the following tips to assess the state of your equipment…

Look for Signs of Physical Damage or Deterioration:

  • Cracked or damaged cords or case
  • Damaged cord caps (i.e., missing ground pins)
  • Broken switches or triggers
  • Missing parts and/or components
  • Evidence of heat or melting
  • Excessive dirt or contaminants
  • Corrosion of parts
  • Evidence of moisture
  • Malfunctioning displays

Verify Performance:

  • Review manufacturer documentation and user manuals
  • Assess the operation of the equipment in a safe and controlled space
    • Ensure that the all safety provisions are in place and working
    • Confirm and operate all functions
    • Verify all functions are within designed parameters
    • Ensure equipment performs according to specification 

The pandemic restrictions have meant that a lot of electrical equipment was left unused for months. When equipment is not regularly used, the equipment or its components can deteriorate, increasing the likelihood of mechanical and/or electrical failure.

To avoid the risk of fire, shock and other costly incidents, check electrical equipment before returning it to service. ESA recommends contacting a Licensed Electrical Contracting business to assess the condition of the existing electrical system. A simple check before everyone returns to normal activities could avoid a serious incident and help ensure a safe return to work for everyone. 

For more information on how to you can ensure your business is electrically safe, please visit


About the Electrical Safety Authority

The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA’s) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA 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. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province on education, training and promotion to foster electrical safety across the province.

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