Last edited 22 Sep 2020

Underwriters Laboratories UL


[edit] Introduction

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a global safety certification organisation based in the United States. Its purpose is to test products and technologies for safety before they are introduced into the global marketplace.

Since its inception, UL has developed more than 1,500 safety standards. UL certification is a common mandatory requirement of insurance companies and code jurisdictions.

[edit] History

It has the oldest independent safety testing laboratory in the United States. The organisation began in 1894 as the UnderwritersElectrical Bureau, which was a division of the National Board of Fire Underwriters.

It was founded by William Henry Merrill, an electrical engineer who had been sent on behalf of fire insurance underwriters to assess the safety of the World Fair's Palace of Electricity. In the process, Merrill performed numerous tests on the materials used in the construction of the building. As a result of Merrill’s experience, he recognised the growing need for this type of work and founded the organisation.

In 1903, UL published its first safety standard for tin clad fire doors. Three years later, it inaugurated its label service which certified specific items that met UL testing requirements.

[edit] Significance of tests

The results of UL testing verify that a representative sample of a product has been tested against specific criteria. These requirements are frequently based on UL's Standards for Safety. Once a product line has been tested and has successfully met this criteria, it will be given a UL (or ULC, Underwriters Laboratories Canada) mark to indicate its status.

[edit] Standard categories

UL has standards that cover the following categories:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External resources

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again