The program aims to protect Ontarians from “the dangers posed by shoddy technical workmanship on fuel-burning appliances,” states a TSSA release issued March 1.
Uncertified gas technicians and unregistered contractors, known as “trunk slammers,” are known for performing less expensive labour with cheaper, unsafe materials and operating out of the trunks of their cars, which makes them difficult for consumers to locate and hold accountable.
Because they are not certified or registered with the TSSA, their work on furnaces and other fuel-burning equipment is not subject to TSSA audits for compliance with safety requirements; their knowledge, competency and qualifications cannot be validated; and there is no assurance they will comply with safety regulations, since they have already disregarded the law by working without proper certification and registration.
Among the TSSA’s top five areas of concern, three are fuels related, including carbon monoxide risks in apartments and condominiums and fuels risks in private dwellings, as noted in TSSA’s 2020 Public Safety Report. Inadequate installation and poor work have been identified as major contributing factors to the risks in these areas, the release reads.
“In that reporting period, TSSA saw an encouraging reduction in the severity of harm related to fuels experienced by Ontarians,” said Sam Sadeghi, director of TSSA’s Fuels Safety Program, in a statement. “We attribute the improvement, in part, to educational campaigns and awareness initiatives, like the ‘Trunk Slammers’ Enforcement Program.”