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State of Safety 2019 - Electrical




Technical Safety BC oversees electrical equipment and systems across British Columbia in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Electrical Safety Regulation. The exception are those municipalities that have separate administrative agreements with the provincial government.

Key statistics


incidents reported to us


injuries reported to us


physical assessments (inspections) completed


In 2019 the number of electrical incidents reported to us increased by 24 (51%) compared to 2018.

The majority of the incidents were rated insignificant to moderate, ranging from arc flash burns to the hand, to overheated receptacles. There was one severe incident that involved a structural fire in an industrial building.

The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year-end.

Electrical incidents in 2019



Six injuries related to the electrical technology were reported in 2019, which is comparable to seven reported in 2018.

Please note that we receive injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to us and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

Electrical injuries in 2019



In 2019, there were 85,184 electrical permits issued, reflecting a 16% increase in permits issued in 2018. This includes 74,236 installation permits and 10,948 operating permits. The permit increase was due to BC’s strong economy, with many housing starts in multi-family dwellings such as townhomes and condominiums.

Accordingly, we saw installation permits for single family dwellings decrease due to the rise in construction for these properties. Permits issued for commercial properties (which may also include a residential component) also increased as a part of BC’s economic development.

Electrical permits in 2019



Technical Safety BC safety officers completed 27,550 physical assessments (inspections) of electrical equipment and systems in 2019.

Physical assessments remain consistent year-over-year due in part to the number of safety officers assigned throughout the province has remained steady since 2017.

Assessments are rated as follows:

Note: Unlike some other technologies we regulate, electrical does not have a Conditional Pass category.

Electrical inspections in 2019