A Look Inside the Lab
How UL tests, inspects, validates and certifies to help protect your family.
Around the World
When you look around your home, you’ll see the distinctive UL Mark on a variety of products from lights and electronics to appliances and pool equipment. The UL Mark indicates that a sample of the product has been tested to the highest safety standards. But, UL is doing a lot more than just testing products. With a track record spanning 118 years, UL has been redefining safety, from electrics and lights to new breakthroughs in sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology. Around the globe, UL has more than 200 laboratories and inspection centers and a network of nearly 9,000 employees that serve numerous industries to help create safe living and working environments.
In the Lab
When you walk into one of our many testing facilities, on any given day you’ll see UL engineers performing a variety of tasks to help ensure safety. You might see an engineer putting ceiling lights through a temperature test where a light is mounted with the correct insulation recommended by the manufacturer and subjected to heat monitoring.
Or you might see an engineer catapulting a frozen snowball at an outdoor solar panel in a durability test. In another building that looks like a giant airport hangar, UL engineers are studying the burn rate of modern materials by burning down a model home in a contained facility.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in another lab are tested for performance and reliability. And that’s just a sample of the more than 20,000 types of products that UL evaluates each year. Some of the products being examined in the various labs will earn the UL Mark, to signify that a sample of the product has been tested and found to comply with UL’s stringent safety requirements. Other products will contribute to the writing of standards or the creation of the vast wealth of safety knowledge that UL shares with the world.
In your World
So what does that all this testing, validating and certifying mean to you and your family? UL examines the appliances in your home, your electronics, your GFCI outlets and just about anything with a cord that plugs in. If products aren’t tested for safety, there’s nothing to say they might not overheat and cause a fire or create an electrical shock or any number of other potentially dangerous results. UL performs these important tests and works with manufacturers to help make safer products that you can be confident in.
Outside of testing, UL is also working with manufacturers to help make processes and products more sustainable. Ever see a product that says it is made from a certain percentage of recycled content? UL can validate that claim for the manufacturer so you know it’s true. UL engineers are also working with local governments to address issues such as drinking water purity and food safety.
Around the world and in the Lab, UL advances safety through careful research and investigation, helps prevent or reduce loss of life and property and promotes safe living and working environments for all people.
Click below to watch some of the safety work in and around the UL Lab: