UL 2020 Compliant: Who’s ready and whose not?

 In Products, Regulation, Smoke Detector

With the new UL 2020 standards less then a year away, which manufactures have new UL compliant smoke detectors on the market and who doesn’t?

With releasing the new UL 2020 standards, UL announced the most significant changes to smoke detector and alarm standards since 1976. Starting May 2020, to earn your UL certification, smoke alarms will be evaluated based on UL 217 (8th edition), Standard for Safety of Smoke Alarms, and smoke detectors will be evaluated based on UL 268 (7th edition), Standard for Safety of Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems. These new standards are aimed at reducing false alarms, also known as nuisance alarms, and at detecting different smoke characteristics. (Click here to learn more about the UL 2020 standards). This is a significant change to the industry since manufacturers producing smoke detectors and alarms today will longer be able to produce them if their not UL compliant come May 2020. So with less than a year to go till the new UL 2020 standards take effect, which manufacturers have announced new smoke detector UL compliant products and who still hasn’t?

To date, out of the four main manufacturers in the fire safety space ( EST/Edwards, Honeywell, Siemens, and Simplex) only 2 have announced and have UL 2020 compliant smoke detectors on the market.

Honeywell, was the first to the market back in March 2018 with their new UL 2020 compliant smoke detectors – the Gamewell-FCI ASD-PL3 and the NOTIFIER FSP-951 “IV” series. Though first to the market, they had a bump in the road this past June as they had to recall approximately 22,000 units of these detectors due to the potential for the photoelectric smoke sensor to malfunction and cause the fire alarm system to fail to alert occupants in commercial buildings of a fire (Click to read more about Honeywell Recallc). However, Honeywell has fixed the issue and these smoke detectors are back on the market.

Edwards, is the only other manufacturer to date who has announced their new UL 2020 complainant smoke and CO detectors – the Signature Optical Siga series. This is the 4th generation of the Edwards Siga series which can both continually monitoring the environment for signs of fire, as well as it’s invisible yet deadly companion — carbon monoxide. While this series was announced back in October 2018, from our research it is still limited in its availability. We expect this to change as we get closer to May 2020.

With both Honeywell and Edwards through the new UL certification tests and with UL 2020 compliant smoke detectors on the market, what’s happening with Simplex and Siemens?

To date, neither Siemens or Simplex have publicly announced to the industry their new UL 2020 compliant smoke detectors. Nor have they announced any “last purchase opportunities” for currently produced smoke detectors that will no longer be UL compliant come May 2020. From our sources and conversations, Simplex representatives have indicated that we should expect their new product announcement later this year. Siemens, on the other hand, is expected to announce in early 2020.

With the May 2020 UL code change date quickly approaching it will be important for you to know about “last purchase opportunities” on discontinued products so you can stock up to keep your fire systems running. Of course, at some point in the future you will need to retrofit your fire system as parts become unavailable even on the second hand market, but you can delay that date by planning ahead and buying the critical spare parts your system will need.

This change in the UL code will save lives and is a significant change for manufactures and fire system managers. Over the coming months, we expect more manufacturer announcements both of discontinued products and of new UL compliant products. To get the latest updates and what it may mean for you, your business, and your bottom line follow us on FaceBook or Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Save More on Fire Alarm Parts, Tiffany Groode, October 2019