Comparing UL Listed and FM Approval Certification
What is UL Listed?
It is a certification related to safety appraisal, which is the most authoritative testing institute in the United States and one of the world’s largest public safety testing labs named Underwriters Laboratories Inc. UL is one of the world's largest private, non-profit institution engaged in professional safety testing and certification, an independent third-party inspection agency. It has product inspection, factory inspection; preparation and issuance of materials and standards; safety certification of products and the operation of safety certification as well as other services. 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.
The UL marking is generally divided into three categories, which are listing, classification and approval marks, which are applied to different service products and are not universal. All UL products must have UL listing, approval or classification marks. UL tracking and inspection are divided into R and L categories. L category is mainly used for products related to life safety, such as fire extinguishers, detectors, electrical equipment, and wires. R products are mainly electrical equipment, such as TVs, fans, hair dryers, ovens, etc. For L category products, manufacturers are required to file with UL in order to print the UL logo on their product. Learn more about detail evaluation process in UL’s website as the link below.
After UL FM product certification, there are 4 factory supervision and inspections every year or once each quarter. UL will carry out the three times and one will be inspected by FM.
What is FM Approvals?
FM approval certificates and test reports for industrial and commercial products are generally recognized worldwide. The testing and certification services provided by FM include:
- Product certification: FM issues certification to products such as fire protection equipment, electrical and electronic equipment, hazardous location facilities, fire site surveys, signal equipment, electronic equipment, and building materials;
- Standard testing: FM provides manufacturers with standard testing services for single product characteristics;
- ISO 9000 registration: FM is an ISO 9000 registration agency that can conduct ISO 9000 system audits for enterprises;
FM Approvals are a part of FM Global which is one of the largest mutual insurers in the United States. The company specializes in loss prevention services and provides industrial asset insurance, of which it employs a non-traditional business model whereby risk and premiums are determined by engineering analysis as opposed to historically based actuarial calculations. This business approach is centered on the belief that property losses can be prevented or mitigated. FM Global engineering personnel routinely visit insured locations to evaluate hazards and recommend improvements to their property or work practices to reduce physical and financial risks if a loss occurs.
It is certified according to FM standards or regulations. FM standards are related to UL standards and NFPA standards. FM standards have relatively fewer requirements than UL standards, but there is no mutual recognition or substitution between the two. FM Mark usage requirement as follow:
President of FM Global, Mr. Paris Stavrianidis, made a report saying:
FM Global is a 170-year-old mutual insurance company, how to develop in the new century and how to continue to maintain its glory.
The foundation of FM Global Insurance is our research and test center. Our research direction is loss prevention services, basic research and applied technology research. Knowledge wealth accumulation is FM Approvals on a certain basis. FM is the world's largest industrial and commercial asset management company. FM Global does not do other things like life insurance, commercial insurance, liability insurance, we only focus on asset restructuring. The annual premium income is about 4 billion US dollars. We reserve about 2.5 billion US dollars as a need to pay claims at any time. FM has no large debt.
FM Approvals is FM Global's certification of global industrial and commercial asset insurance management.
There is a certain scale of firefighting and fire protection product manufacturing companies in the world that are proud to sustain FM approved products, which is the symbol of product quality. Globally, only fire protection products that have obtained FM approved certification can insure relevant property or fire insurance. Otherwise, the insurance company will refuse to insured the party. At present, when building contractors choose fire protection products, whether the product has obtained FM certification is their first consideration when choosing fire protection products. Of course, this also includes parts and components used in fire protection products.
FM is generally aimed at fire-fighting equipment-such as fire-fighting pipes, fire-fighting fasteners, fire-fighting equipment, etc., as well as other fire protection products.
Typically, UL and FM both are globally recognized for their product approvals, however, their specialty backgrounds set them apart. FM provides insurances while UL is focusing mainly on product testing. FM excels in the firefighting and fire protection field; while UL has set foot in consumer electronics in addition to firefighting equipment and fire protection products. Therefore, fire equipment and fire protection product generally require both certification unless not applicable.
Check out our UL FM certified products under Fire Protection Collection.
Other Fire Protection Related Certifications