UL Stamp Significant
As more engineers explore the integration of fire, life safety and security systems, a key consideration for all parties is whether the local authority having jurisdiction will frankly allow non-UL certified equipment.
So says Arden Everhart, a fire alarm/safety specialist with Denver-based Swanson Rink. Everhart, one of a number of panelists appearing on CSE's most recent webcast "The Confluence of Fire, Security and Life Safety Technologies," noted most AHJs are traditionally non-receptive to interfacing fire alarm systems to other special systems. But the major deal-breaker is when a piece of equipment, typically on the security side, is not UL-certified.
UL itself is cognizant of this fact and the trend toward more integrated systems. Earlier this year it announced three new security and signaling marks.
"These new Security and Signaling Marks provide manufacturers with a clear distinction and marketing advantage from competitive products that have not been evaluated for their performance in these specific applications," said Chris Hasbrook, general manager of the UL Fire, Safety & Security and Environmental Services SBU.
Further cause for optimism in this area, according to Everhart, is NFPA's new 731 standard for Security Installation, which he says may help create additional opportunities. That said, he's frankly more excited by news out of the NFPA camp that the organization is considering the first proposed interface to a fire-alarm system in the next NFPA 72 code cycle.