A notification hit my inbox the other day about counterfeit UL labels for fire doors and fire windows:

NORTHBROOK, Ill., September 30, 2020 – The following is a notification from UL that the UL Mark identified below is counterfeit and might have been applied on fire doors and fire door/window frames.  Fire doors and fire door/window frames bearing the counterfeit certification mark have not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate Safety Standards for the risk of fire, electric shock, or injury to persons and it is unknown if they comply with any safety requirements.

Remedy: UL recommends that these products be removed from service and be replaced with UL certified fire doors and fire door/window frames.

The thought that non-compliant fire door assemblies would have counterfeit labels applied to them gives me chills.  This is not like a fake Rolex watch or Louis Vuitton bag.  Imagine what would happen if a fire occurred, and the doors and frames with counterfeit labels did not perform as fire door assemblies should.  What a tragic outcome that could be – especially since it’s completely avoidable and the sole purpose is to reduce cost.

According to UL, the following warning signs may be indicative of a product that does not have UL Listing:

  • A product whose label does not contain these 4 elements:
    • The familiar UL symbol (the UL in a circle) or other specific formats authorized by UL
    • The word “LISTED”
    • The product identity
    • A unique control number or serial number assigned by UL
  • Any product that references UL on the carton or on the product itself but has no company name or address
  • Any product that references UL on the carton, but not on the product itself
  • Cheap, low-quality workmanship and/or packaging.
  • Marks with the letters “UL” side by side instead of staggered, the lack of a control number, or the words “Approved” or “Pending” instead of “LISTED” or “CLASSIFIED”

Most people outside of the industry do not realize the value of fire doors, but these assemblies are an extremely important part of the passive fire protection system for most commercial and institutional buildings.  Fire door assemblies are highly regulated and must pass rigorous testing to ensure that they will perform properly if a fire occurs.  UL has reported dozens of incidents of counterfeit labels for various products over the years, so stay vigilant!

To learn more about fire door assemblies, visit the Fire Doors page of iDigHardware.

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