Safety is an important consideration in any building project, both for the builders themselves and the future occupants of the building being constructed. One of the key components in determining material safety is the UL rating.
What is UL Standard?
UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, an independent company focused on safety science. For more than 100 years, UL has been testing and certifying products in regard to their safety. Materials that pass the safety tests are granted a listing which can then be viewed on the UL website.
For a product to be UL listed, a representative of UL must test a sample to verify it meets UL requirements. The requirements themselves are found in the company’s nationally recognized Standards for Safety
While UL certification isn’t a legal requirement, it is common and best practice. There are many companies that will only buy products that have met rigorous standards and passed the UL safety tests.
At the end of the day, UL approval acts as an independent quality confirmation. Products that are UL certified are those that have proven the manufacturer is competent, the product itself safe, and any potential hazards identified with proper safety instructions available.
How UL Testing is Performed
As mentioned above, a UL representative will test the material to ensure it meets UL requirements. This can be done in a number of ways, as UL certification can be applied to products, systems, facilities, and even personnel.
When it comes to products, samples are submitted for testing and sorted into categories based on their intended use. The category a product is assigned will define the standards that must be met in order to achieve UL certification. Then the UL team commences testing the product.
- Reviewing the product’s construction
- Conducting tests with the product in use
- Reviewing and analyzing the product’s performance
UL testing isn’t a one-and-done situation. Even after certification has been awarded, UL will continue to monitor the products it stands behind, including additional tests. It’s not uncommon for UL field representatives to make surprise visits to facilities. Certifications can be revoked if the product fails continued tests.
UL vs. cUL
While Underwriters Laboratories has a presence in both the United States and Canada, the marks are not the same. Products for the Canadian market receive a cUL certification instead.
This may be confusing, for UL and cUL share many similarities. However, there are numerous differences in the standards that must be met, so the terms cannot be used interchangeably.
While products that are UL certified in the United States may well meet cUL certification standards, it is by no means a guarantee.
FireTrol and UL Certifications
As one might imagine, being in the business of fireproof columns makes FireTrol rather passionate about meeting and maintaining safety standards.
In 1961, Fire Trol Corporation was formed to market and manufacture the new prefabricated fireproofed steel column developed by our founders, the Lally brothers. Every column that has ever been delivered to a job site has been stamped with the Underwriters’ Laboratories’ seal of approval. Our expertly constructed columns have received the rigorous UL flammability rating from the start.
Safety has been in our company DNA from the start. Not only do architects and engineers need robust and aesthetically pleasing columns, but columns that provide a certified fire resistance rating.
Our products are also among the few that are cUL certified, meaning the level of quality clients receive remains consistent regardless of whether they are in the United States or Canada.
UL and cUL certifications are indelible remarks on product quality, and that is something we take very seriously.
To learn more about our certifications and company, visit our website. If you would like to get in touch with a representative, please call us at 860-610-4084 or feel free to fill out this form that we can use to get a hold of you!