July 28, 2021
As the global safety science leader, UL helps companies demonstrate safety, enhance sustainability, strengthen security, deliver quality, manage risk and achieve regulatory compliance. We accomplish this by employing exacting scientific processes and the highest ethical principles to answer safety challenges and concerns. We provide broad leadership, deep expertise and vital services to help manufacturers move products to market quickly while meeting relevant regulatory requirements for the region.
To achieve these goals, we harness the relationships we have built with local governments, industry associations and code authorities. Recently in Canada, we leveraged these relationships and our good standing with the Canadian government to rectify a situation that developed around the production of packaged boilers in that country.
Packaged boilers heat nearly a quarter of the commercial floor space in Canada, and space heating is by far the biggest energy user in these and other commercial buildings. Commercial and industrial packaged gas-fired boilers have been historically evaluated to CSA/CAN1-3.1, Industrial and Commercial Gas-Fired Package Boilers as part of a factory-based safety certification. However, in the first quarter of 2020, the Standards Council of Canada determined it will no longer maintain CSA/CAN1-3.1 and it will be withdrawn.
“Due to UL’s strong presence in the industry and our relationship with the Canadian government,” said Travis Hardin, principal designated engineer for UL’s Appliances, HVAC and Lighting team in Canada, “Underwriters Laboratories Canada Inc. (ULC) received the endorsement of the Canadian Boiler Society to develop and publish an Industrial and Commercial Gas-fired Boiler Other Recognized Document (ORD). In addition, UL’s nonprofit affiliate, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., is developing a binational Standard for Canada and the U.S.”
The boiler industry was notified that certification to this document should be concluded by the spring of 2021 and that the certification mark from the SDO should be removed from products manufactured after the effective date of April 1, 2021.
“Customers trust us to be the go-to resource for safety services around the world, and that is no different in Canada,” Hardin said. “ULC proposed to the Interprovincial Gas Advisory Council (IGAC) two options: allow UL’s Standard in the U.S., UL 795, the Standard for Commercial-Industrial Gas Heating Equipment, to be the certification Standard until a new joint Canada-U.S. binational Standard is developed via Standards Council of Canada (SCC) procedures and processes. Or develop an ORD based on UL 795 and then proceed to develop it into a consensus standard.”
The IGAC indicated their preference was for ULC to develop an ORD and then for UL Standards to develop a consensus standard. That process began in the third quarter of 2020. To this end, UL/ULC submitted a draft ORD (ULC/ORD-C795) to the SCC and the relevant Canadian Regulatory Authority Advisory Bodies (RAABs), IGAC and Canadian Advisory Council on Electrical Safety (CACES), with a closing date for comments of Feb. 26, 2021.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. has also submitted a new Notice of Intent (NOI) to the SCC for a joint Canada-U.S. binational Standard for Commercial-Industrial Gas-Fired Package Boilers.
“Our partnership and collaboration with the standards bodies in Canada and other stakeholders made this process run smoothly,” Hardin said. “For example, we consulted with the Canadian Boiler Society, of which we are a member. They are a group of energy and environmentally concerned companies made up of boiler manufacturers and suppliers. We are the only testing, inspection and certification (TIC) company that is part of this organization, as a matter of fact, and we approached them for their endorsement of this effort. They enthusiastically agreed because of our trusted role in the sector and sent a letter to the RAABs on our behalf.”
Hardin continued, “Once our ORD project was approved, UL and ULC staff immediately began work to develop the requirements in cooperation with industry and governmental partners. We know how to work with the SCC, we understand the ORD process, we know how to energize and empower stakeholders to make decisions and work together. In a situation like this, when speed and efficiency are important, working with UL is key.”
When developing new safety requirements UL typically follows these guidelines to help ensure conformity and clarity:
- Typically country specific and factory based
- Harmony with the applicable installation code(s)
- Intended to reduce the risks of fire, shock, public health, mechanical (casualty) hazards, burglary or environmental protection
- Repeatable test results
- Input from all stakeholders
“Because of our dedication to pure science and listening to our customers, we understood their need, recognized the disruption in market, cooperated with the relevant stakeholders, followed our stringent process of ORD development, and were able to support our customers quickly to mitigate disruption,” Hardin said.
For Canadian-manufactured commercial industrial packaged boiler assemblies, these new requirements will be similar to the former requirements with added emphasis on the inherent and functional safety of new control technologies utilized in the boiler industry. Most boilers currently certified to CAN1-3.1 and UL 795 are anticipated to also be in compliance with the new joint Canada-U.S. binational Standard.