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UL 268: A New Standard for Smoke Detectors

fire alarm systems in seattle

Stassa Hansen

Fire Systems Sales Manager at Guardian Security Systems Inc
Experienced National Sales Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the public safety industry.
Stassa Hansen

The new standard for smoke detection is UL 268. Here’s what homeowners and business owners need to know about this regulation.

What is UL 268?

Established by UL, the organization that maintains global safety certifications for a variety of industries and products, UL 268 is a regulation that sets a higher standard for smoke detector manufacturers. By complying with UL 268, makers of the smoke detectors you use in your home or business are providing earlier detection of dangerous smoke levels in the air. But that’s only the beginning.

While no smoke alarm is a “false” alarm, UL 268 does introduce a brand new test for nuisance alarms. This makes smoke detectors able to distinguish between a fast-moving fire or smoldering fire (which are truly dangerous), and “deceptive phenomenon” like small amounts of kitchen smoke from cooking or baking.

What does UL 268 do?

First, UL 268 can better represent the smoke profiles and behavior of modern building fires. It will ensure that the next generation of smoke detectors will be intelligently designed to respond to the most common smoke and fire patterns. Whether a fire is at home or in a public building, this can give building occupants more time to safely evacuate in the event of a fire.

How does UL 268 address false alarms?

While no smoke alarm is a “false” alarm, UL 268 does introduce a brand new test for nuisance alarms. This makes smoke detectors able to distinguish between a fast-moving fire or smoldering fire (which are truly dangerous), and “deceptive phenomenon” like small amounts of kitchen smoke from cooking or baking. That means no more dealing with an ear-splitting alarm when there’s only minor kitchen smoke in your skillet.

How does UL 268 address faster fire detection?

UL 268 introduces two new polyurethane foam tests for smoldering and flaming fires. This is important in commercial buildings like hotels and healthcare facilities, where furniture often contains highly flammable polyurethane foam and other synthetic materials. When ignition of these materials is detected sooner, everyone inside can flee to safety more quickly.

When is UL 268 compliance mandatory?

All UL-certified smoke detectors will be required to meet the enhanced UL 268 requirements by the year 2020. This represents a major change we can get behind, and we think our customers will appreciate it as well. To inquire about fire safety equipment and intelligent smoke detectors, Seattle residents can contact Guardian Security. We will be glad to schedule a free fire safety consultation at your property.

About Guardian Security

Guardian Security is the first choice for home security in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. We service public buildings, office buildings, warehouses, homes, schools, hotels and hospitals. Our customers have included local and national names that you know and trust.