Trunk Slammer Stories

Learn more about trunk slammers by reading first-hand accounts from Ontario consumers and stories of recent convictions.

Learn more about trunk slammers by reading first-hand accounts from Ontario consumers and stories of recent convictions.

Surya’s Story

The carbon monoxide leak incident at our multi-residential rental complex came to light when an ambulance was called by one of our tenants for an undisclosed emergency. Upon arrival, the ambulance attendant detected carbon monoxide in the building using a personal detection device and called the fire department. Fire department personnel arrived and went to the roof, where they found carbon monoxide leaking from the make-up air unit. While stopping the leak, they had the tenants evacuate the building for a few hours until everything was under control. They provided buses where the tenants could stay warm while waiting.

The matter was directed to TSSA, which contacted the contractor responsible for working on our unit. The contractor informed TSSA that the person who had worked on our unit had forgotten to renew his gas technician certificate.

We had been dealing with this company for quite a long time as they were also handling our plumbing and electrical work. During this time, all the work they carried out was done well so we hadn't considered the need to verify their credentials. It is the responsibility of the company to ensure their technicians who do the work are certified.  

The contractor involved in the incident no longer works for us and hasn’t for a long time. We have another authorized company to handle our gas-fired make-up air units. The carbon monoxide leak incident has taught us to be more careful in this kind of situation. I hope sharing this story will serve as a safety lesson to all.

Mary’s story

I had just bought a house and, while having it renovated, was staying at my parents’ house. My poor dad was in his 80s then, very frugal, always trying to save money. We used to joke and battle all the time because he would patch something up, and then I would have to do it again because he didn’t want to spend the money to do it right the first time.

I had a dog that was always in the backyard, making it difficult for the gas guy to access and read the gas meter. While the plumber worked at my house, my dad asked, “Do you do gas?” The plumber said, “Yes.” Without me knowing, my dad hired the plumber from my place to move the gas meter from the back of my parents’ house to the front, running the gas line along the inside corners.    

I was expecting about $3,000 in rebates for energy savings during the renovation of my house, but when I applied for the grants, my application was rejected because the licence number provided by the plumber was invalid. This man had given me a fake licence number! When I confronted him, he said, “I’ll give you my friend’s number,” and I refused. He hadn’t been licensed to work on gas, plumbing, or electrical and was not registered with TSSA. Needless to say, I lost the grant money.

Fast-forward a few years. I rented out my house and decided to live with my parents permanently. I was determined to renovate my parents’ utility room and cover the exposed wires, gas lines, and water lines with drywall so it would look nice and clean.

The first contractor that came out to my parents’ home to provide a quote didn’t even want to touch the area because he said it looked “like a dog’s breakfast.” The second contractor came prepared to do the job but, in the process, called the gas company to shut off the gas.

It was terrifying when a TSSA inspector and Enbridge Gas supervisors came by and said, “Do you realize this is a near miss?” We were told our gas could not be turned back on until all the deficiencies were rectified. Only then did I understand the severity of this issue — a huge pipe had been pushing and squeezing pounds of gas directly into a smaller pipe inside my parents’ home. I get nervous just thinking about it. I had visions of my family’s home blowing up. 

My poor dad was so upset when the gas company supervisor explained the severity of the situation and asked who had done the work. My dad didn’t want anyone to get into trouble and felt responsible – he just figured the plumber knew what he was doing.

           Inlet pressure going through the house       

Marlene’s story

I was quoted $4,000 to install my air conditioning unit and furnace, and someone came and did the work. But I felt there was something wrong. I didn’t know what, but I started having a bad feeling about him installing this.  

When he claimed he was finished, I said, “Well, these pipes over here aren’t hooked up,” so he said he would return to connect them. Meanwhile, I have two cats that would just sit there and stare at the furnace. Then I started getting headaches, and when my friends would come to visit, they would experience the same symptoms. 

I went through an entire winter with no heat. I could never get a hold of this man; I couldn’t talk to him. From what I understand now, the intake pipe which draws air from outside to pump inside my house was not hooked up, so my furnace was only drawing air from inside my home and pumping the same air back in.

Pam’s story

Thank you again to Fuels Inspector Mark and his colleagues at TSSA for helping me with my traumatic situation. The support they provided in all of this will help me to regain trust in people.

In my heart, I believe TSSA should put something in the newspapers, so people know to be careful of whom they hire for fireplace maintenance and to ask for fully qualified technicians. It will also make consumers aware that TSSA enforces the rules, regulations, and proper licensing to protect the people like me who don’t know the difference. I will forever be grateful to Mark, TSSA, and Enbridge Gas for saving my life!

TSSA intervention encourages fraudulent Fuels Worker to achieve certification and register as a contractor

Following up on a TSSA email complaint regarding the incorrect installation of a gas-fired furnace at a Toronto bed-and-breakfast, a TSSA Fuels Safety inspector visited the property and was advised by the manager that the furnace had been replaced four months prior by John*, who was hired as a contractor to purchase, deliver, install, and activate the new gas furnace. John performed the work alone.

In Ontario, a service provider must hold a Gas Technician 2 (G2) certificate — at a minimum — to perform work on gas-fired appliances unsupervised. At the time of the gas furnace activation, John held a G3 certificate. This entry-level Gas Technician certificate allowed him to perform gas work only while supervised and prohibited him from activating gas appliances. 

Shortly after speaking with the TSSA Fuels Safety inspector and being issued orders for working without the necessary certification and registration, John passed his G2 examination and registered as a contractor. As a result of these steps, when John pleaded guilty to the offence before the Ontario Court, the Court considered the remedial action John took to be a significant mitigating factor during sentencing, and John received a minimal $2,000 fine.  

*John’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.

Recent Ontario trunk slammer convictions

Learn how to protect yourself from Fuels scams

You may report an unregistered contractor or uncertified technician by emailing

Zhoufeng Yu

Zhoufeng Yu, sole director of Lucky Air Systems operating in Richmond Hill and the Greater Toronto Area, pled guilty to one count of repairing a natural-gas appliance without a TSSA-issued gas technician certificate and one count of knowingly making a false statement or furnishing false information, offenses under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000. The Ontario Court of Justice ordered Yu to pay a total fine of $7,000 for both counts, plus a 25 percent victim surcharge. 

Yu, who has not held a valid TSSA certificate since 2018, entered into a verbal contract with a Toronto homeowner to repair a natural gas furnace, which had previously been issued a hazard tag by Enbridge Gas. Upon completing the repairs, Yu signed the hazard tag with the name of another individual who held a valid TSSA certificate, thereby indicating under someone else’s legal authority that the hazard had been cleared.

Robert William Seager

Robert William Seager, owner of Seager Heating in Oshawa, pled guilty to one count of installing a natural gas furnace without a TSSA-issued gas technician certificate, contrary to Ontario Regulation 212/01: Gaseous Fuels. The Ontario Court of Justice ordered Seager to pay a $4,000 fine, plus a 25 percent victim surcharge. 

Seager, who has not held a valid TSSA certificate since 2008, entered into a verbal contract with an Oshawa homeowner to supply and install a complete heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system and water heater. After installing the natural gas water heater, Seager did not return to complete the full scope of agreed-upon work, for which he had been paid $13,300. The homeowner reported the situation to TSSA, which discovered Seager had installed the water heater without holding the appropriate certificate.

Michael Hogan

Michael Daniel Hogan, sole director of Mike Hogan Plumbing and Heating Inc. in Kingston, pled guilty to one count of failing to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the company’s employees are appropriately certified to perform gas work, an offense under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000. The Ontario Court of Justice ordered Hogan to pay a total fine of $6,000 plus a 25 percent victim surcharge.  

Under Hogan’s employment, an employee who has never held a TSSA certificate, licence, or registration was dispatched to a Kingston home to install a natural gas water heater. Hogan, a TSSA-certified G2 gas technician, failed to ensure the employee was certified to perform the work he completed during his employment.