We must always use approved electrical products to protect ourselves against fires. Consequently, it is important to remain informed on products that could be dangerous.
Electrical Product and Warning Recalls
How to Recognize a Certified Electrical Product?
The certification offers a guarantee to consumers that the product purchased corresponds to what they have a right to expect. It also guarantees that the product purchased will provide the expected performance at all times and comply with applicable standards and requirements.
To determine if an electrical product has been certified, check if it carries a certification seal. The seal must be affixed to or printed directly on the product in the form of a marking or label. It may also be printed on the package.
Remember, under section 2-024 of Chapter V Electricity of the Québec Construction Code, any electrical accessory that is sold in Québec must be certified by an accredited certification body. The most common bodies are:
- CSA International (CSA)
- Underwriters' Laboratory of Canada (ULC)
- Underwriter's Laboratories Incorporated (UL)
The Régie du bâtiment du Québec also provides information about certification organizations.
To Check if a Product is Certified
ULC ou cUL
Consult the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada Online Directories (ULC) and enter the information in the appropriate field. If the product is not listed, contact Frank Donati by email or by phone:
- 418 564-4457;
- 1 800 595-9844 (choose 1 then 4).
Go to the CSA International Certified Product Listings.
If a Product does not Have a Certification Seal...
Or if a certification seal is printed only on the package, this finding must be reported to the Régie du bâtiment du Québecor by phone at 1 800 361-0761.
How to Spot a Counterfeit Certification Seal?
- The item costs less than other similar products,
- Spelling errors on the package or product name,
- Poor quality packaging,
- No certification seal or an unusual looking certification seal that is different from official seals (CSA, cUL and ULC),
- Certification seal only on the package,
- Different certification seal on the package from the one on the product,
- Missing parts,
- Incomplete product information.
If in Doubt:
Warning Notice about Uncertified Electrical Products
Counterfeit Certification Seals
Counterfeit certification seals affixed to consumer products such as electrical extension cords, lamps and electrical panels can create a false sense of security among consumers. Counterfeit electrical products can cause short circuits and their use can result in fire due to the poor quality materials that are used to manufacture these goods. They also do not provide the resistance that certified goods require.
In late January 2005, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) seized counterfeit power cords that were destined for the retail market. They did not carry proof of certification by an accredited agency. Use of these power cords can cause fire after only a few minutes.