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UL Takes a STAND


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.

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									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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