Code authorities are responsible for verifying that fire alarm systems are installed, monitored, serviced and maintained in accordance with nationally recognized codes and standards. UL’s Alarm Certificate Services Program aims to provide code authorities with the necessary information to fulfill their responsibility.
UL’s Alarm Certificate Services Program provides code authorities with detailed information regarding the fire alarm system of any Certificated property within a jurisdiction. For a property to be Certificated, a UL Listed alarm company must issue a UL Certificate. The UL Certificate is the alarm company’s declaration that the alarm system has been installed, and will be maintained, tested and monitored according to the most recent applicable codes and standards.
What does the UL Certificate mean to a Code Authority?
When a protected property has a UL Certificated alarm system, a code authority can be confident that:
- The Certificated alarm system was installed by a UL Listed alarm company according to the UL Standard and nationally recognized codes.
- The Certificated alarm system’s equipment is UL Listed
- The Certificated alarm system is serviced and maintained by a UL listed alarm service company
- Service elements (signal monitoring, retransmission, runner service, and record keeping) comply with the UL standard and applicable nationally recognized codes.
- Continued compliance is verified by UL technical staff
Quick Facts about the Alarm Certificate Service Program
- More than 1,000 companies throughout North America have UL central station listings
- Approximately 25,000 fire alarm certificates are currently active for protected properties
- Many code authorities experience a reduction in unwanted alarms after requiring UL certification and/or central station service
- It is easy for a jurisdiction to begin requiring certificates:
- In the jurisdictions requiring UL certificates on all central stations, only a few simple steps were added to their plan review process to verify the issuance of a UL certificate.
- UL alarm auditors are happy to work with jurisdictions to verify that certificates are issued and maintained. In addition, if jurisdictions experience problems with UL certificated alarm systems, we follow up on these concerns to help make sure any discrepancies are corrected.
- Fire authorities can require UL Certificates on central station systems:
- This can be done by enforcing NFPA 72, Section 188.8.131.52. This section requires alarm system compliance documentation from the organization listing the station. A UL Central Station Fire Alarm Certificate meets this requirement.
- Codes require central stations to be listed:
- The International Fire Code and Uniform Fire Code require fire alarm systems in specific applications to be monitored by an approved supervising station in accordance with NFPA 72. Fire code authorities often require these systems to be monitored by UL Listed central stations, which is consistent with requirements written in NFPA 72, Section 26.3.3.
UL Certificate Verification Service (ULCVS)
ULCVS is a service that can only be accessed by code authorities. By directly accessing the UL Certificate database via the ULCVS portal code authorities can easily determine if a valid UL Certificate has been issued on a protected property or identify UL Certificated alarm systems.
When logged into the portal, a code authority, or authorized representative, can search UL’s Certificate database to find the real-time status of any Certificate, with the exception of government properties. The ability to customize Certificate status notifications also helps to ensure that code authorities are kept up-to-date on all noted Certificates of interest.
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