Approval of Electric Signs

The Canadian Electrical Code establishes several requirements for electric signs that describe how a sign must be installed.  The CEC also establishes requirements on how a sign is fabricated. Rule 2-100 “Marking of Equipment” lists 14 markings necessary to identify equipment and ensure its suitability for the installation. One of these required markings is Evidence of Approval.  CEC Appendix B explains that evidence of approval consists of either “(a) the certification mark of the certification agency, usually in the form of a monogram or seal of the agency” or “(b) The special inspection label or document of the authority having jurisdiction”. This means that an electric sign needs to have a label from either a testing laboratory or the provincial/municipal inspectors.  The first labeling option listed (certification marks) is far more common and often easier to obtain.

As in the United States, Canada no longer grants a monopoly where one testing laboratory has exclusive ability to conduct product evaluations and issue certification marks. Instead, the Standards Council of Canada has been given authority to establish an accreditation process for certification bodies and testing laboratories. Numerous private organizations have been accredited by SCC to issue “evidence of approval” certification marks on products sold and installed in Canada.

The most common certification mark seen in Canada on electric signs is issued by the CSA Group Testing & Certification, which is a separate part of the organization that also develops and publishes the CEC. While the CSA mark is the most common, other organizations’ marks also are approved and carry identical weight as the CSA mark.  Some of these organizations include Eurofins/MET Labs, Intertek, and Underwriters Laboratories of Canada. (A complete and updated list of certification bodies can be found on the Standards Council of Canada website