UL 217 & 268 New Smoke Detector Standards Extended to 2021: But does this matter?

 In Industry, Policy, Smoke Detector

On December 5th, 2019, UL decided to extend the UL 217 & 268 smoke detector standards compliance date from May 2020 until June 2021. Read what this means to you, your fire safety system, and your bottom line.

On December 5th, 2019, UL released a customer bulletin announcing that the UL 217 Standard for Smoke Alarms, and the UL 268 Standard for Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems, 7th Ed. has been extended a year. When first announced in 2007 and again in February 2018, these standards were expected to be implemented by May 29, 2020. However, with less than 6 months until this deadline, UL decided to extend this compliance date until June 30, 2021.

So what does this mean for product end of life and new compliant smoke detector timelines? From our view, this transition on the commercial system smoke detector side was well on it’s way and we don’t expect this extension to delay the May 2020 original deadline. On the residential single station battery and 110V smoke detector side, this will provide more time for their products to get approved and out in the retail market place.The primary players in this space are Kidde, Nest, First Alert, Ring, USI, and FireX. To date, only Kidde has a new UL 268 compliant residential smoke detectors on the market.

From our research and industry sources we still expect the primary four system smoke detector manufacturers (Honeywell, EST, Siemens, and Simplex) to stay on track to meet the UL 268 standards in 2020. Many of them have already announced last purchase calls and already released their new UL 268 compliment replacement products. So even with this year extension, we don’t expect things to slow down or old products to come back.

Below is a summary of where things stand today and our 2020 expectations.

Honeywell is already selling UL 2020 compliant smoke detectors. Honeywell, owns a number of smoke detector brands, such as FCI-Gamewell, NOTIFIER, System Sensor, and Firelite, and was first to 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 fast to the market, they had a bump in the road in June 2019 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 Recall). However, Honeywell has fixed the issue and these smoke detectors are back on the market. Since then, Notifier, System Sensor, and Firelite have all announced their new UL 2020 compliant smoke detectors (see Table 1)

Table 1: Honeywell UL 217 & UL 268 Compliance Smoke Detectors by Brand

Honeywell Brand Discontinued Smoke Detector New Replacement UL 2020 Compliant Smoke Detector
FCI Gamewell ASD-PL2F ASD-PL3 Series
NOTIFIER FSP 851 FSP 951 “IV” Series
System Sensor System Sensor 2251 System Sensor 2351 Series
FireLite SD 335 SD 365 Series

Edwards/EST, is the only other manufacturer to date who has announced their new UL 2020 compliant smoke and CO detectors – the Signature Optica Series. This is the 4th generation of the Edwards SIGA series which can both continually monitor 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 dealers are slowing migrating clients to this new product. Throughout 2020 we expect it’s sales to significantly increase.

Siemens, while not as far along as Honeywell and Edwards, in that they have not announced a total release of their new UL 268 compliant smoke detector, they have announced the end of production of the very popular Siemens FP-11 smoke detector. That last call for orders just passed on December 31st, 2019. Given this phase out announcement, we’d expect Siemens to announce their replacement smoke detector once they are completely out of UL testing.

Simplex, to date, has not publicly announced any last purchase opportunities for currently produced smoke detectors – such as the very popular Simplex 4098-9714. Nor have they announced their new UL 268 compliant smoke detector lineup. From our sources and conversations, we should expect their last purchase opportunities and new product announcement later this year.

In summary, for system smoke detector users, this 1 year extension on meeting the UL 217 & UL 268 standards while at face value may imply things will change more slowly than originally thought, but actually from our view won’t slow things down very much. Three out of the four primary system smoke detector manufacturers have already stopped production on their non compliant smoke detectors and we don’t expect that to change. Also Edwards and Honeywell already have their UL 268 compliant smoke detectors on the market, with Siemens to quickly follow. Given that, even with this 1 year extension, we expect more manufacturer announcements both of discontinued products and of new UL compliant products throughout 2020.

Be prepared and make sure you stock up on your system needs now before either the pricing goes up or your parts are no longer available. To get the latest updates and what it may mean for you, your business, and your bottom line follow us on FaceBook and subscribe to our newsletter.

Save More on Fire Alarm Parts, Tiffany Groode, January 2020

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