Frequently Asked Questions
Who is legally allowed to do electrical work in the province?
Electrical is a regulated technology in BC. There are governing bodies that manage the contractors and electricians. “Technical Safety BC” governs electrical contractor’s licenses and permits in most BC jurisdictions.
Some cities have their own independent electrical permit and inspection authorities. These cities include Maple Ridge, Surrey, Burnaby, Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, and West Vancouver. Technical Safety BC manages the permits and inspections in all other cities and jurisdictions. “Skilled Trades BC” governs apprentice training and red-seal electricians.
It is a common misunderstanding that a red-seal electrician is qualified to do electrical work for a customer directly. Red-seal electricians are only able to perform electrical work underneath an electrical contractor licensed with Technical Safety BC. Handymen have no business doing any type of electrical work. No individual may perform electrical work in the province without an electrical contractor’s license which can only be attained through Technical Safety BC. You can find all these laws and regulations written in two provincial documents. “Safety Standards Act – SBC 2003” is a provincial law written that defines the legalities of regulated technologies.
Regulated technologies in BC include Electrical, Elevating Devices, Refrigeration, Natural Gas, Railways, Amusement Devices, Passenger Ropeways, Boiler and Pressure Vessels. “Electrical Safety Regulation – B.C Reg. 100/2004” deals directly with electrical work. This law dictates the requirements for an individual to attain an electrical contractors license and when electrical permits must be pulled. To get an electrical contractor’s license an individual must have:
A red-seal certification, an FSR license with the appropriate rating for the requested license, be bonded by a third party liability carrier, and be registered with WorkSafe BC.
Raymond Electrical has a FSR-A license which allows us to pull permits for any voltage level, this is an unrestricted license, the highest rating of FSR attainable. Our employees are red-seal electricians. We believe in regulation for electrical work, and support firmer legislation that ultimately protects home and business owners in the long run.
What is a FSR license?
FSR is an abbreviation for Field Safety Representative. This is an individual who is a red-seal electrician that has also done additional training to be certified as an individual who understands law and regulation around electrical work. Sometimes in BC, an FSR is referred to as a “Master Electrician” but this can be deceiving because there are a few different levels of FSR an individual can attain.
FSR-C may make a declarations only with respect to electrical installations in which the current and voltage in the installation do not exceed 200 amps and voltage of 150 volts to ground, single phase power. This basically means that an FSR-C may only pull permits for homes and in most cases could not pull a permit for a commercial building.
An FSR-B may make declarations only with respect to electrical installations in which the voltage of the completed installation does not exceed 750 volts. This means an FSR-B can pull permits for most electrical installations in BC. However, they may not maintain or work on any high-voltage electrical systems or work on any transmission or power line work. An individual or corporation with an FSR-A certificate of qualification may make declarations for ANY type of electrical work. Raymond Electrical has a current FSR-A certificate of qualification, which means that we can work on any electrical system anywhere in the province.
We have no restrictions on what type of work we can do. As we like to say “Anything in the electromagnetic spectrum is in our scope of work”.
Why should I hire a licensed electrical contractor?
There are many reasons to hire a licensed electrician like experience and knowledge, but the primary reasons are liability and insurance. Unqualified individuals performing electrical work in BC have caused fires and property damage to owners. This is the reason we have laws in place to protect these individuals.
Many strata organizations require that you hire a licensed electrical contractor to perform electrical work.
Not all electrical contractors have additional liability insurance on top of their license, but Raymond Electrical can add up to 10 million in additional coverage at the strata council’s request. Typically, Raymond Electrical will carry 5 million liability insurance for electrical projects unless specifically requested to have additional coverage.
“Licensed, Bonded, and Insured” still holds true in the industry. Can you imagine hiring an unqualified individual for a job in your home or business then finding out that one of the workers was injured? And that the individual you hired isn’t registered with WorkSafe BC? The consequences of that situation could be very unfortunate. What if an unqualified individual left unsafe work that was a fire hazard? Or if the unqualified individual accidentally made significant damage to your home?Without the proper insurance and employee safety, you leave yourself open to risk.
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