BIGGEST CHANGE TO SMOKE DETECTORS SINCE 1976
UL 2020 Compliant Smoke Detectors
If you are buying any new smoke detectors for your home or vacation rental(s), be sure that they are UL 2020 compliant (UL is the abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories and is the leading company approved to perform safety testing by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)). If you aren’t, consider updating at least your kitchen smoke detector to one - TODAY! Many UL 2020 detectors started hitting the marketplace this past April. UL Standard for Smoke Alarms, UL 217, 8th Edition, is set to take effect in May of 2020 and it is important not only that vacation managers and rental property owners understand it, but everyone who resides in home understands it.
In April 2016, UL announced they were going to address more than 350 technical changes smoke detector manufacturers must make to maintain their UL listing (certification). Manufacturers of smoke alarms and smoke detectors have until May 29, 2020, to meet the new requirements. The new and revised requirements in UL 217 as well as UL 268 represent the most significant changes to these standards since 1976. New fire and smoke tests were conducted, including a flaming polyurethane foam test and a smoldering polyurethane test. Research conducted by UL, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) demonstrated the need for these tests due to changes in home furnishing and finish materials over the past 30 years. The smoke produced from burning or smoldering foam and plastic generates a smoke aerosol with that differs in terms of smoke color, quantity and mean diameter from the smoke previously tested and covered by UL standards. This is why it is so important that your vacation rentals be equipped with the new detectors.
Most importantly to vacation managers and owners, a cooking nuisance test was a key part of the new testing. Many managers and owners will agree with research that shows that the number one reason why people disable smoke alarms in vacation rentals is due to nuisance alarms caused by cooking.
As a result of the new UL Standards for 2020, smoke detector products must meet two new important criteria:
· Increased sensitivity to meet the two new polyurethane foam tests
· Ability to distinguish between smoke aerosols from fire sources and smoke aerosols from cooking sources
Smoke alarms that are UL certified to the 8th edition of UL 217 and the 7th edition of UL 268 will bear an enhanced UL label that includes the statement “helps reduce cooking nuisance alarms.” Look for the image to the upper left on product packaging to indicate the product has met the new and revised requirements (note the image can be in different colors).
It won’t be a surprise to start seeing many ‘sales’ on the older models of smoke detectors. Many will recall in 2014 when they stopped making incandescent light bulbs, the market was flooded with cheap leftovers. Ensure your renters have the safest technology when it comes to safety and only buy those approved for UL 2020 going forward.
Kidde alarm manufacturing is referring to their new smoke detectors that are 2020 compliant as having “TruSense” and they are on sale now at Home Depot for around $35.