What the UL Label Means to You
Most of us do our homework when it comes to purchasing high-ticket items like plasma TVs and automobiles. We read performance reviews and familiarize ourselves with safety and operating features. But many of us don't put the same thought and care into purchasing simple electrical products that could have a huge impact on our family's safety and health.
With so many electrical wiring devices to choose from, how can you be assured that the items you purchase will provide years of safe, problem-free performance? What is Underwriters Laboratory? When shopping for items such as light switches, receptacles, dimmers or surge protectors look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) label.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization. The UL label indicates that an electrical product satisfies the safety requirements of Underwriters Laboratories, one of the nation's oldest and most trusted product testing organizations.
What does the UL Label Mean?
This label is your assurance that the electrical products you purchase are tested and retested often by their manufacturers to comply with UL safety standards. UL inspectors frequently visit facilities that manufacture electrical components. Typically, the inspectors will walk into a plant unannounced and conduct random checks of products coming off the assembly line. If you're unsure of what the UL label looks like, check your toaster or hair dryer. You'll see the encircled letters “UL” somewhere on the device.
According to UL, you should make sure its label appears on every electrical product, fire extinguisher and fuel-burning appliance in your home. UL also tests heating, air conditioning and refrigeration products to make sure they won't pose a hazard to your health and safety.