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Niagara Falls electrical contractor fined Ontario record $537,500 for heated floor malfunction that killed senior

The ESA reports the contractor did not connect the heat sensor, made a connection to incorrect voltage, and did not get the system inspected.


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April 12, 2016 by Steve Payne

Pro-Teck Electric, Niagara Falls, ON, has been fined $537,500 for its faulty and illegal installation of a heated bathroom floor system that killed a Niagara-on-the-Lake senior citizen in April 2014. The senior fell on the floor, which was greatly overheated, suffered second- and third-degree burns, and later died in hospital.

(The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has clarified that this firm is unrelated to a similarly-named licensed firm operating in Richmond Hill, ON.)

The fine is the largest one ever levied for a safety violation in Ontario electrical licensing history.

Pro-Teck had already pleaded guilty last year to three charges related to the fatal malfunction of the system. An ESA investigation revealed that the heat sensor in the floor had not been connected, the power supply was erroneously connected to the wrong voltage, and Pro-Teck had not obtained an electrical inspection before allowing the system to be used.

For a more detailed report, please see this article by our Annex Business Media sister publication, Electrical Business.


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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3 Comments » for Niagara Falls electrical contractor fined Ontario record $537,500 for heated floor malfunction that killed senior
  1. Rob says:

    What a terrible tragedy for this elderly man and his family. This contractor’s employee really messed up here, but every Electrician has made mistakes. Why is this a criminal act? I would really like to know a lot more about this. No Contractor has liability insurance which covers criminal fines. Is this being treated as a criminal act because of the lack of a permit? Would the fine be higher if it was not a licensed electrical contractor?The civil lawsuit is still to come. Most licensed electrical contractors involved in residential renovation type work are small and carry one million in liability insurance. If the judgement exceeds the companies one million in liability insurance, then I assume they seek the balance of the judgement directly. If the government has effectively bankrupted the company or owner or both the end result is that the family isn’t awarded the entire judgement. What if the flooring contractor installed the in floor portion and the LEC connected it wrong? I suppose the manufacturer and CSA are absolved due to an incorrect installation, but I am quite surprised that the second it was energized it didn’t burn up or fault the breaker. Really scary stuff! There has to be more to this story.

  2. Mike says:

    Hi Bob, you made some interesting comments about this incident. Indeed was a terrible human lost. This issue is on the google site also. Looks like the electrician under Ecra so called License, or his apprentice are criminals. The 25% for the victims of crime was $136.875.00, plus the fine $547.500.00, that’s devastating for a small company. Who are the victims of crime, and where this 25% goes to? Apparently no crime was committed, what if the owner bought these heating unit on the home depot, installed, and this happen?

    what can’t be understood is, or was not told was, how long this system was working without causing burns? These apparently work with thermostat, heat sensor and thermostat, which can be controlled. Even a home owner with little electrical knowledge can install one of these. But the esa wants electrical permits on every little electrical thing, even approved by the CSA.

    I have seen so many mistakes done by esa inspectors beyond believe, also incompetence, and arrogance, when been called attention to it. Some of them were and are idiots, were lazy electricians, that’s why they refuge them selves on the esa inspections, so called electrical authority.

    Final new homes electrical inspections, when three ways either don’t work or enter in short, washrooms with light and fan together on the same switch etc. The electrical system in wood frame homes either in new homes or older are nothing but traps.
    As soon some incident happen either inspected or not, esa will come out like lions on the jungle, esa will not take any responsibility for any electrical incidents, even with permit and inspected. They are not liable for any of theirs electrical inspections, but soon someone gets caught like this lec, crucify him, crucify him.

    They love to crate fear in their advantage, if this home was inspected and this had happen, the lec, will be blamed the same way, esa will collect their share, walk way freely, who need them in this matter. A License electrician in this Province is nothing but a slave of the esa, ecra, and the ocot.

  3. Questo says:

    http://www.truecomfortsystems.com/en/installation/installation-videos

    In here is a link to show how to install the heat bathroom floor, more or less the same one which turn into a disaster. well this one is only 479w can’t explain how the senior got the third degree burns.

    Apparently these heating kits come with the heat sensor, and also need a thermostat to control the temperature.
    Only the esa will do is, all the connections are right and ground connections and gone out the door they go.

    Apparently if this system be connected directed to a 15a 120/240v double, and using a switch to turned on, will not last long, will burn and enter into a short circuit. Apparently this electrical work, wasn’t esa inspected, someone isn’t telling the truth, either the esa, the lec, or the home owners, or even those investigated, I can smell a fish in here. The esa is selling a story in their convenience, maybe they convince the judge, to apply this fine so elevated. Not even in construction accident done even by brute negligence such a fine was applied.
    The lec was a ECRA licensed, what he or those working for him had learn having a ECRA license, apparently nothing, because that’s a money grab nothing more. Was the lec frustrated with the esa to the point he didn’t care about the esa permit? License electricians in Ontario need three parasites even before start working, ESA, ECRA and OCOT. Its like a facist police state, those never leaved under don’t know the difference.
    A real License electrician will inspect three times his jobs before switch it on, if this lec or those working for him did that this incident wouldn’t happen. Electricians which really care for their careers, will do inspections to make sure everything is ready and right, and take the time to teach those working along side, as apprentices. ESA permits are just another money grab, ECRA license are just a another permit to work as an electrician, also the OCOT is another tax parasites.
    To many parasites, on the trades people, and this case was like a sound alarm, to the electricians, don’t go out track, pay us or we will destroy you. If people knew how crooked is the justice system in Ontario will figure out why this was so high fine.
    The worse disaster is our Ontario government, doing all kind of wrong things, but so far no one even pay a fine.
    ESA is a monopoly, needs another agencies to competed with them, lower prices, then things will start having an effect. Each city should provide all construction permits and inspections, is under the building code, why the electrical should be any different. The founds the ESA accumulate, should belong to the local cities, not to a parasite agency.
    The ECRA should be abolished, also the OCOT to, lec should be free to operate, and making sure their works are inspected at least three times before turn on. The apprentices should learn this method, and using a three paper sheet to fill every job they preform. I used and still use, even inspected, worked and still work every time, gives enough times to check if anything isn’t right to fixed.