UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories, a third-party certification company that’s been around for over a century. UL was founded in 1894 in Chicago. They certify products with the aim to make the world a safer place for both workers and consumers. Besides testing, they set industry standards to follow when innovating new products. Last year alone, about 14 billion products with the UL seal entered the global marketplace.
A common misconception is that UL tests every product themselves. This isn’t always the case. Instead, UL authorizes a manufacturer to test the product themselves using the UL stamp. They then follow up on a regular basis to make sure that they are testing their products and following proper guidelines. This is one of many reasons that UL certification is attractive to businesses.
However familiar you might be with the recognizable UL stamp on machinery, it’s not as simple as it may appear. There’s no such thing as a general UL approval. Instead, it’s broken down into several tiers. These three tiers are UL listed, UL recognized, and UL classified.
UL Certification for Peace of Mind
UL Certification allows a company to innovate its safety and align themselves with industry-wide best practices. Being UL certified illustrates a businesses’ dedication to consumer safety, as well as the quality of their products.
Another important caveat of UL certification is for insurance purposes and customer security. In fact, UL was founded by William Henry Merrill, Jr. while he was working at the 1890 Chicago World’s Fair to asses fire risks. While he was there, he presented his idea to insurance underwriters to form an electrical testing laboratory. The Western Insurance Union and the Chicago Underwriters Association decided to fund his idea, and formed what would become Underwriters Laboratory. Why is this important? If, say, an inspector determines a fire was caused by a circuit breaker that was not UL certified, an insurance company can choose to deny the claim. For this reason alone, many consumers opt for certified products, not just for large appliances but for small ones as well as laptop and cell phone chargers. UL certification adds a layer of protection and accountability for accidents, as well.
There’s undeniably a certain prestige of having the UL logo on your machinery or end product. The UL seal is an easy way to fast strack your products and your business to the top of any conscious consumer’s list.
Lastly, because UL is a third-party service, consumers of your products can be confident that the UL seal is not a superficial sales ploy. Instead, it’s a true indication of an item’s safety and longevity. It protects your brand’s reputation by having an established certification company standing behind what you sell.
Why Get UL Certified
Why is UL certification and recognition attractive for businesses? UL has spent over a century building up a reputation and instilling a sense of trust. When a consumer sees the UL stamp of approval on a product, they will likely feel better about purchasing it.
For example, if someone is shopping for a new circuit breaker or contactor, UL certification might sway their decision.
If two identical products or services are side-by-side and one is UL certified and one isn’t, which one would you likely choose? It’s been shown that the UL mark can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses, and so many of them strive to get their products approved. The UL logo gives the consumer peace of mind, and the business a public seal of approval.
When we pull back and look past the marketing aspect, it’s widely understood that machinery is the lifeblood of any business. Taking steps to protect this investment and the people that use it is essential to the long-term success of a company. Many industries have even started to design new products around UL’s safety standards.