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The number of complaints regarding delays in getting products UL listed have dropped considerably over the last six to 12 months," explained Robert Tockarshewsky, global marketing director for Fire, Security and Signaling Services, Underwriters Laboratories. "The delays that plagued many of our clients in the past were due to our inability to have enough capacity in the face of increased demand caused by an extensive file review of UL 864 Ninth Edition.
TESTING & CERTIFICATION By Mark S. Fischer UL Takes a STAND What’s the state of this lab and others? I f you look at the back of a smoke detector or other life safety device you will most likely see one or more logos from agencies that have tested and approved the device. Otherwise known as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), these organiza- tions hold considerable influence in the industry and subsequently with the Authority Having Jurisdiction combined with UL’s limited capacity overwhelmed us and this increased work volume had a ripple effect. UL has been adding staff over the past 18 months and we are now at our highest head count ever. Average turn- around testing time for a fire control panel is now at roughly three months, as opposed to previously being in excess of seven months.” (AHJ). The only way to ensure that the same specifica- Still, some manufacturers have sought an alternative. tion will apply to different devices manufactured by Intertek listing devices under the ETL listed mark was various companies is to ascertain they all meet the mini- another NRTL alternative. ETL tests to the same ANSI standards as UL. According to Tom Connaughton of ETL a device is typically tested in about four months. So if AHJs and insurance companies accept ETL or other NRTLs as equivalent, what’s the issue? As part of their listing program UL also runs certificate programs for the installation of fire and burglar alarm systems as well as central station services. These types of installations for high risk subscribers often require the issuance of a UL certificate in order for the subscriber to obtain insurance. As part of their fire codes some municipalities require a UL certificate as part of the acceptance procedure.
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