UL vs. Other Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories


Perhaps you’ve heard of UL before. Maybe you’ve seen their insignia on the electronics you use at work and at home. You might even know what the “U” and “L” stand for. And if you are aware of what Underwriters Laboratories does, then you’re ahead of the average American. But did you know that they aren’t the only show in town?


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UL and Its Competitors

UL (hereafter referred to as Underwriters Labs) is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) that works as a third-party, quality-assurance organization devoted to science safety testing.  A lot of what Underwriters Labs does involves electronics. While many may be familiar with their stamp or organizational mission, Underwriters Labs isn’t the only NRTL in the world. In fact, they’re only one among several. As far as North America is concerned, there are three major companies geared toward enhancing the safety and efficiency of industrial and commercial products.

Of these three, Underwriters Labs is one, CSA (Canadian Standards Association—roughly the Canadian equivalent of UL) is another, and Intertek (also labeled as ETL) is the third. These three organizations are the major forces behind safety certifications for North American based manufacturers, and while manufacturers aren’t required to adhere to their stringent guidelines, all the most reputable businesses do. In other words, if you see products of an electrical nature without one of these important stamps of approval, run from it, and run far.

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The Advantages of Intertek (ETL)

While all three of these organizations are great resources for proper safety certifications, Powerblanket works with Intertek for certain reasons. The primary purpose behind the company’s decision to go with Intertek stems from the locales of industries we serve. With customers throughout the US and Canada (as well as overseas) Powerblanket needed a testing laboratory that met both Canadian and US certification standards. Of the three major Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories mentioned here, Intertek was the clear choice.

While Underwriters Labs strictly adheres to US standards and can couple with Canadian standards, like Intertek, and while CSA is equally supportive of the same expectations in Canada, Powerblanket chose Intertek becuase of how helpful and supportive they are through the certification process. After all, gaining third-party validation from an NRTL isn’t a trite exercise. As is the case with UL and CSA, Powerblanket works with Intertek because of its commitment to quality and safety. All of Powerblanket products have undergone their stringent testing protocols for safety, which means our customers can rest assured they have both an efficient and entirely safe heating solution.



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