While there’s a certain level of trust that’s necessary when making any purchase, some things can’t be left up to chance. Safety is one of those things.
There are a variety of electrical safety standard labels you might find on an LED sign, which indicate that sign has passed a set of strict guidelines and proven to be reliable and safe.
Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping around to make sure you’re getting the best product possible.
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory
The Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory—or NRTL—is an independent lab used by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The NRTL monitors the private sector to ensure products are in compliance with OSHA’s product and electrical safety standards.
NRTLs use unique certifications to mark and designate products in compliance with their safety standards. After the certification process, the NRTL authorizes the LED sign manufacturer to apply for its certification mark.
The NRTL oversees a wide range of products that use gas, oil or electric, and requires those products to meet the demands of a variety of institutions like:
- The American National Standards Institute
- American Society for Testing and Materials
- Underwriters Laboratories
- Canadian Standards Association
National Electric Code NFPA 70
All 50 states have adopted the National Electric Code, which is used as a benchmark for safe installation, design and inspection of electrical devices.
Purchasing a sign that meets the National Electric Code means your investment sufficiently protects both people and property from costly electrical hazards.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act of 1970
The OSHA Act of 1970 requires that all electrical devices must be examined to make them safe for use and installation.
What do these marks really mean?
Each mark is a stamp of approval. Marked products adhere to stringent safety standards, and are in compliance with the law. These stamps of approval are also a mark of quality you should look for when choosing a sign.
Safety marks also means that a specific product can be found in a publicly available directory, subject to a follow-up program aimed at ensuring the product remains safe for years to come.
The difference between ETL and UL marks
UL and ETL marks both indicate that a sign meets required standards and means the product has remained in compliance throughout each follow-up inspection. The difference lies in the specific relationship between the manufacturer and the given test laboratory.
With UL marks—which is the most common mark for computers, appliances and other similar products—your sign has proven to meet the UL’s list of safety standards.
ETL marks are the other main type of listed mark, and meet a slightly different but nationally recognized set of safety standards.
How do LED manufacturers ensure safety?
Dealers and manufacturers of LED signs should always sell products with proof of their compliance in order to reassure customers that those products are safe and reliable.
Certified products will display such marks on the sign’s exterior surface or the product’s label. Among various other factors, choosing a sign that meets national safety standards in one way to make sure you’re making an investment that will last and keep driving business for years into the future.