History of UL
In 1894 by William Henry Merrill founded Underwriters Laboratories (UL). “Underwriters’ Electrical Bureau” was the original name of Underwriters Laboratories. Then, in 1903 they published their first literature on safety titled “Tin Clad Fire Doors”. The safety lab leapt into modern testing with their certification of the first motor driven phonograph in 1907. As a result of keeping up with the times, one hundred years later they made another leap with their testing of the modern CD player.
Recognition of the Testing Lab
Underwriters Laboratories has become the best known and recognized independent testing lab in the world. UL performs testing on a range of products. Their testing procedures asses the quality and safety of the individual product.
According to their website “UL certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects, audits, advises and educates.” They do all of these through the testing services they provide. UL does all of these for companies looking to ensure their products compliance with regulations and safety. Not only does UL certify products within the United States, UL’s certifications are also recognized worldwide.
UL studies international certification standards and practices. They study this information to insure that not only products that will be used in the U.S.A. are safe and regulated, but also those going outside of the states are at the same level of safety. UL has made a strong effort to standardize safety requirements, protocol, and certifications around the world.
A Testing Lab
Most noteworthy is the important distinction that UL is very adamant about clarifying. Something UL wants well expressed is that they are a testing lab, not an approval lab. They are not a government agency that has the right to approve any product for a consumer. However, they are a testing lab whose certification process is held at a high enough level that it is taken into account during the governmental approval processes.