One of the best-known brands in the realm of electrical and electronic equipment isn’t a manufacturer, a distributor or a dealer. It’s UL – formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories, recognized by users across the globe by the small symbol which appears on many of the devices you own today, such as toasters and children’s toys. UL is a certification organization that verifies the safety of the products it tests.
For users, the UL symbol communicates trust. When a product has been UL-certified and listed as such, it means that it has been thoroughly tested by 3rd-party engineers to verify that it meets relevant standards and has been deemed safe for use in its intended conditions. With this assurance, users have confirmation that the product is safe to use and it will perform properly -- they can trust in its quality.
It’s Tough to Get a Product Listed!
The certification process is quite rigorous. Product manufacturers must provide all requested information to UL engineers for review. This may include mechanical drawings, electrical drawings and schematics, manuals, and a variety of other important data. Once testing is scheduled, the manufacturer may need to assist or execute design changes in order to achieve compliance. UL will also inspect the manufacturing plant to verify that all components and construction are in alignment with the information provided. Only then will the product receive its UL listing.
Why is a Listing Important for Security Entrances?
There are good reasons to make sure that every electrical or electronic product used within a facility is UL-listed. That said, when you are purchasing a security product, there is a standard of responsibility that is even higher than that for other electronics. There are negative consequences for any non-functioning element in a building; however, a non-functioning security product introduces the potential for a greater level of risk.
Nowhere is this more true than for security doors and turnstiles. Installed at the perimeter of a facility and at any entry points which need to have controlled access, security entrances permit only authorized individuals to enter. With available technology such as anti-piggybacking, anti-tailgating, touchless entry and, facial recognition to verify the identity of the credential-holder, these high-tech doors are a vital piece of an organization’s security planning and risk mitigation strategy.
For anyone directly or indirectly responsible for security within an organization, it is important to ensure that all of your security doors and turnstiles are UL-listed. UL is one of a limited number of nationally-recognized testing laboratories (NRTL), a designation given to those labs allowed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to perform certification of products to ensure they meet general industry, construction, and electrical standards.
Field Listing is an Alternative for Installed Entrances
It is important to note that some products are “field-listed” rather than certified. In this case, an engineer from UL will evaluate a non-listed product that has already been installed, and grant certification at that time. Sometimes the provider will need to perform minor changes in the field for the product to comply. These changes could impact use of backup batteries and power supplies, wiring, or other components. This designation is frequently used for custom-built equipment for special applications, which is not manufactured in enough quantities to make evaluation by a governing body practical.
When you are considering security doors and turnstiles to improve security at your facility, it makes sense to ensure that you choose only models that have been tested and certified by a NRTL. By doing so, you will be meeting an important best practice for mitigating risks of all kinds.