Toronto, ON — The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) launches its fourth annual ‘Trunk Slammers’ Awareness and Enforcement Program to warn Ontario homeowners about the dangers of poor technical workmanship on fuel-burning appliances.
“We have identified inadequate installation of fuel-burning appliances and poor maintenance work as the major contributing factors to the risks in people’s homes, which is why it is so important for homeowners to only hire TSSA-authorized individuals to perform fuel-related work,” said Sam Sadeghi, Director of TSSA’s Fuels Safety Program.
Fuel-related risks in private dwellings in Ontario are among the top risk areas overseen by TSSA. Improper installation and poor work have been identified as the major contributing factors to this area’s fuel and carbon monoxide (CO) related risks. Uncertified gas technicians and unregistered contractors, aka ‘trunk slammers,’ are known for performing less expensive labour with cheaper, unsafe materials and operating out of the trunks of their cars.
Since trunk slammers are not certified by or registered with TSSA, their work on furnaces and other fuel-burning equipment is not subject to TSSA audits for compliance with safety requirements. In addition, TSSA cannot validate their knowledge, competency and qualifications. Moreover, there is no assurance they will comply with safety regulations since they have already disregarded the law by working without proper certification and registration.
Both the TSSA and the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) also urge homeowners to follow the qualified contractor checklist pamphlet, which features notable red flags to look for when in the market for a contractor. The checklist states that qualified contractors:
- Won’t quote prices over the phone without first assessing your job on-site.
- Won’t request large cash advances prior to the delivery of any equipment or materials.
- Will readily provide a full business address and telephone number where the company can be reached.
- Will offer the names and addresses of customers they have done work for in your area.
“We would like to remind homeowners that all Ontario contractors authorized by TSSA to perform fuel-related work are listed on the TSSA website,” said Sadeghi.
Under Ontario law, furnaces and fuel-fired appliances must be maintained by TSSA-registered contractors. Registered contractors must hire certified gas technicians with extensive training to keep people safe in their homes.
On March 31, a webinar will be held to discuss how TSSA plans to eliminate the underground market, which will be run by HRAI and TSSA.