Under Ontario law, furnaces and fuel-fired appliances must be maintained by TSSA-registered contractors. Registered contractors are required to hire certified gas technicians who have extensive training in keeping people safe in their homes.
Uncertified gas technicians and unregistered contractors—also known as ‘trunk slammers,’ after the image of someone working out of the trunk of their car—are known for performing less expensive labour with cheaper, unsafe materials.
However, fuels work can be dangerous or even deadly if it is not performed by a certified fuels professional.
Since trunk slammers are not certified by or registered with TSSA, it can be difficult to find them and track them down if you are unhappy with their work.
Their work on furnaces and other fuel-burning equipment cannot be audited for compliance with safety requirements, and TSSA cannot validate their knowledge, competency, or qualifications.
You also have no assurance that a trunk slammer will comply with safety regulations, since they have already disregarded the law by working without proper certification and registration.
To help you recognize what to watch out for, read about Ontarians’ experiences with trunk slammers.
Fuel-related risks in private dwellings in Ontario are among the top areas of risk overseen by TSSA, according to historical TSSA data.
Improper installation and poor work have been identified as the major contributing factors to risks related to fuels and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Hiring people who are authorized by TSSA to perform fuel-related work is essential to your safety.
TSSA oversees all of Ontario’s registered fuels contractors. That means a registered contractor’s work — and the work of their technicians – is subject to TSSA audits for compliance with safety requirements.
Not only can TSSA validate their knowledge, competency and qualifications, but TSSA can also substantiate their contact information so that they’re always held accountable to Ontario’s consumers.
To obtain a Gas Technician Certificate, issued under Ontario Regulation 215/01: Fuel Industry Certificates, a person must:
Successfully complete a TSSA-accredited training program which includes both in-class theoretical and hands-on/practical components. To attain certification, a certification candidate must:
Maintain 80% attendance during the program.
Score over 75% on the practical components and modules within the training program.
Score greater than 75% on the TSSA Ontario Certificate of Qualification examination.
As an alternative, they must submit detailed documentation proving they have the necessary work experience from another region or country to bypass training, and then proceed to the examination, scoring greater than 75%.
Once they are certified, they must:
Regularly upgrade their Ontario Certificate of Qualification as required by TSSA.
Uphold public safety by discontinuing the use of an appliance or work upon identifying an unacceptable condition that constitutes an immediate hazard.
Search our database to find a Registered Fuels Contractor near you.
Please report illegal Fuels workers. Your actions may just save the life of a friend or family member.
While you may be reluctant to report unregistered contractors and uncertified technicians for fear of embarrassment or reprisal, rest assured that TSSA exists to keep you and the Ontario public safe.
You may report an unregistered contractor or uncertified technician by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
TSSA urges you to be on alert for door-to-door and telemarketing salespeople who try to sell you furnaces, water heaters and energy services or who say they are sending a furnace inspector to your home.
Learn more about how to protect yourself from fuels scams.