(UL Listed and FM Approval) A quick glance at two most important certifications in the firefighting field
It is not uncommon for the logos of UL or FM to be seen in major international firefighting trade fairs. UL/FM certificate holders are undoubtedly regarded as excellent manufacturers. What on earth do UL and FM stand for? Let’s dig deeper into their meanings and find the answers.
What is the FM certificate?
FM Global is FM Global is an international property insurance and loss prevention engineering company, which is considered the largest mutual insurance company in the world as well as one of the American product testing institutes with the highest standard of quality control procedures.
FM Approvals, a testing lab under FM Global, provides certification services that are recognized worldwide, and the FM APPROVED marks are held in high regard for rigorous standards of quality. Around the globe in general, only the FM approved firefighting products are offered property and fire insurances by the insurance companies.
FM Global was established in 1835 and has been growing with its clients for nearly 180 years ever since. So far, over one-third of the Fortune Global 500 have been FM’s clients, among them are industrial giants such as Airbus, the Boeing Company, Intel, FedEx, etc. Most of the manufacturing bases of these leading industries worldwide are FM Global clients. FM Global is focusing on developing related laws and regulations so as to provide product certifications with higher standards.
What is the UL certificate?
UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories Inc., which is the most authoritative testing institute in the United States and one of the world’s largest public safety testing labs.
UL is an independent, non-profit organization providing professional public safety testing. It applies scientific testing approach to determining to what extent the material, devices, products, equipment, and buildings are harmful to human life and property, so responsive standards can be verified, formulated, and published as the countermeasures against data that will cause the loss of life and property while conducting intelligence research operations.
In a nutshell, UL’s major task is to perform product safety certifications and issue safety approvals with the aim of ensuring the product safety in the global commodity market, thus contributing to human health and property security. In view of removing international trade and technology barriers through product safety certifications, UL plays an active role in the promotion of international trade and development.
UL was established in 1894 and started with funds provided by fire insurance department. It was not until 1916 that UL finally became an independent company. Over nearly a hundred years of development, UL has distinguished itself from global competitors and went on to be one of the world’s most recognized approvals institutes. UL itself has a well-organized management mechanism as well as standard procedures for product certifications and development.
What’s the difference between UL and FM?
Typically, UL and FM both have an international reputation for testing; however, their backgrounds are what makes them so different. FM provides insurances while UL is focusing mainly on product testing. FM excels in the firefighting field; UL has set foot in consumer electronics in addition to firefighting equipment. Therefore, it doesn’t matter which is better. What matters is the demand of the target market.
Why is the certification important?
The firefighting industry has everything to do with life-and-death situations; therefore, manufacturers, to a certain degree, need to take responsibility for their own products to win the confidence of potential clients/buyers. Taking product certifications into consideration prior to purchasing can greatly reduce your risk of opting for lower-quality products. Similarly, the manufacturers won’t suffer reputation damage and loss of clients caused by the poor-quality products they are making and selling, which is indeed a no-win situation.
We encourage you to buy certified products, following the tips on product purchasing mentioned above.