Safety Notices, Recalls and Buyer Beware


Safety Notices, Recalls and Buyer Beware

Health Canada reminds consumers to always look for the Canadian certification mark when purchasing a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm

May 13, 2021 - The OAFC’s Fire Prevention and Public Education Committee, comprised of volunteers from the OAFC, the Ontario Association of Fire Educators (OAFE), the Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officer’s Association (OMFPOA), and the Ontario Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), recently partnered with Health Canada on the issue of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms being sold online in Ontario without complying with the appropriate Canadian and Ontarian standards.

Research conducted by the OFMEM showed that some online retailors are listing and selling smoke and CO alarms through third party vendors in Ontario without meeting the appropriate standards - missing the appropriate certification marks. Below are some pictures of Canadian Starndard markings. 


These third-party sellers are selling products outside of the host websites control, thus making enforcement of Canadian and Ontarian standards, problematic.
To help counter this, the OAFC, OAFE, OMFPOA, OFMEM, and Health Canada have partnered together on a Public Education campaign to remind Ontarians (and Canadians) to always look for the appropriate seals when purchasing smoke or co alarms online, or in-person.
Key Messages:
  • When purchasing smoke and CO alarms, always check for the appropriate marks to ensure they comply with Canadian standards.
  • Recognized Canadian certification marks such as CSA, cUL, ULC, or cETC, should appear directly on the product - not just the packaging. 
  • Only working smoke and CO alarms can protect you and your family.
  • Clean and test your smoke and CO alarms every month.
  • Replace your smoke and CO alarm batteries every six months, replace expired alarms (any alarm older than 10 years of age) and consider intalling a 10-year battery sealed alarm. 

On behalf of the OAFC, we would like to thank all the volunteers on the OAFC's Fire Prevention and Public Education Committee and Health Canada for their efforts in making this public education campaign happen.

ESA warns of unsafe use of electrical equipment to assemble Lichtenberg Generators

April 21, 2021 - With more people spending more time at home due to COVID-19 Lockdowns, individuals are seeking new activities and hobbies to try.  One such hobby that has been growing in popularity, is fractal wood burning, or controling Lichtenberg figures, through the use of Lichtenberg Generators.

A Lichtenberg figure is a type of branching electrical discharge that sometimes appears on the surface or interior of insulating materials.  Modern artists are attempting to control Lichtenberg figures or these eletrical discharges and results, in their artwork by building homemade Lichtenberg Generators - devices capable of creating and controling high voltages which they direct to their artwork.  

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is warning against using high voltage energy sources such as microwave oven transformers or similar components to manufacture Lichtenberg generators. Lichtenberg Generators utilize high voltage to "create art", by burning patterns into various materials such as wood or acrylic. 

For more information or to download the warning, please  visit

ESA warning Ontarians not to participate or share a “challenge” on the social media platform TikTok that could lead to electrical fires and pose a serious safety risk.

There is a new social media “challenge” making it’s way through the social media platform TikTok called the #OutletChallenge or #PennyChallenge.  TikTok is a social media platform similar to snapchat where people create short little videos on their cell phones to share with their friends.  The so-called #OutletChallenge or #PennyChallenge involves an individual sliding a coin between a loosely plugged in cell phone charger and an electrical outlet in an effort to create sparks to film and post on social media (
In response, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has put out the following media release reminding the public of the dangers of electricity and is encouraging all to remember there are ‘no safe shocks’. Media Release: New TikTok Challenge Posing Serious Electrical Risks.pdf
For more information on the #OutletChallenge or #PennyChallenge please see the following news articles: