UL seeks installers to develop mass notification standards

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NORTHBROOK, Ill.--Security and fire installers interested in the mass notification market are being sought by Underwriters Laboratories to participate in a panel that will develop mass notification product standards.
Plenty of manufacturers have expressed interest in participating, said Daniel Ryan, standards technical panel chair for UL, but UL would like to involve other stakeholders as well.
"From our perspective, it's generally a more effective safety standard if people participate that represent the different experiences associated with safety in a specific area," he said. "We want not just manufacturers, but also installers, end users, regulatory, testing and government representatives."
The panel, called the Standards Technical Panel for Mass Notification Systems, is expected to convene in early 2009.
UL decided to establish the panel in response to the proliferation of mass notification systems on the market today.
"[The National Fire Protection Association] has developed codes required for mass notification systems and traditionally our role ... has been to develop product performance standards that then go hand-and-hand with the code," Ryan said.
"NFPA deals with the installation requirement end of it, and we deal with performance of the individual units," he added.
Mass notification is "kind of the Wild West of signaling right now," Ryan said. The panel, which he expects to number 35 to 45 people, will need to decide what "the scope of the document or documents it will develop ... Will there be a one-size-fit all system or we look at different classes of systems for diff needs?"
Anyone interested in volunteering to participate in the panel should contact Alan McGrath at alan.t.mcgrath@us.ul.com.