By Ryan Parton
Chalk up another victory for the “buy local” movement – Comox Valley businesses no longer have to send their money elsewhere when they want an illuminated sign.
After years of installing and maintaining electric signs, Comox-based HI-lite Signs has just become the only local company to be certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to manufacture them as well. HI-lite received its CSA certification following months of exams, sample fabrication and rigorous product testing, becoming the only company in the Comox Valley able to both produce and install illuminated signs safely and legally.
“A CSA label shows that a sign has been independently tested and is certified to meet recognized standards for safety and performance,” explains Brandon Galandy, owner and operator of HI-lite Signs. “It assures customers that their locally made sign meets all provincial standards for safety and performance.”
Though most sign components can be checked for a CSA sticker, Galandy emphasizes the importance of doing the same when approaching a company to install illuminated signage.
“We’re talking about electricity here, which can be very dangerous,” he explains. “If anything should happen to your electric sign and the installer wasn’t CSA-certified, the warranty and even the business owner’s insurance policy may not cover them.”
What could possibly go wrong? In his years on the job, Galandy says he’s cracked open more than a few electric signs to discover that the wires inside were “fried to a crisp.” Often the only thing preventing a small electrical fire from becoming a tragedy is that the sign’s metal casing managed to contain the blaze.
“Comox Valley businesses may not be aware of the risks associated with electric signage that isn’t CSA-certified,” says Galandy. “For example, most of us only use LED lights in our signs now, which are infinitely safer than fluorescents – but still, not all companies do. Florescent signs need to be maintained more often than LEDs due to their higher heat output and lower life span.
“We’re very serious about protecting customers, and the CSA is as well,” he adds. “Working with a sign shop that’s certified by the Canadian Standards Association ensures that your sign is designed and made in accordance with the latest safety regulations laid out by the B.C. Safety Authority.”
To find out more about illuminated signs, or to find out if yours is operating safely, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-941-4421.