New amendment to ULC SQ 561 faces review

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

MONTREAL--A second amendment to ULC 561, a standard issued by the Underwriter Laboratories Canada that covers the construction, operation, installation, inspection and tests applicable to fire signal receiving centers (SRC), is scheduled to undergo ballot and public review this month. The amendment, which is intended to streamline the compliance process for existing ULC-certified Canadian central stations, is expected to be ready for publication by the first quarter of 2008.
Amendment two is intended to categorize SRCs into two separate levels: Level 1 defines SRCs existing prior to the original publication of CAN/ULC 561-03 in September 2003 and were in compliance with ULC/ORD-C693, and Level 2 is new SRCs or any SRC who chooses or by virtue of changes to its systems, needs to meet the requirements of the current CAN/ULC-561, according to Rae Dulmage, director, standards department and government relations office, ULC.
"The levels are a sense of recognizing within the standard the fact that there were existing facilities and that allows conformity in assessment for the people who are running the accredited inspection or certificate system," said Dulmage.
ULC SQ 561 originally caused a stir in the industry when SRCs feared they would lose their certification because of compliance issues. To ease these concerns, the effective date of ULC SQ 561 was extended from June 2007 to December 31, 2008.
Alan Cavers, area manager of the fire and security systems group of ULC, said the new effective date will give companies enough time to comply with the new standard. "The effective date was based on our department determining the status of ULC listed alarm companies," Cavers said. "They've had plenty of time to know things are coming down the line, and as long as everything goes according to how it should go, the end of next year is a feasible date."