UL approved vs. UL listed; Tips on Keeping Cool During Summer Installs

Q: The other day I commented to a prospect that the equipment my company installed was UL approved. Another salesperson overheard my comments and stated that the products were not UL approved. Since the product has a UL label on it I am confused. What did I do wrong?

A: This is one of the most common mistakes made when referencing to security products and services, and Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL). Stating that a product is ‘UL approved’ is incorrect. UL does not approve a product, as this would imply a wide range of acceptances and liabilities. They do however “list” a product after completing a select set of tests.

Next time you are referencing to a UL-listed security product, state that it is ‘UL Listed,’ not ‘UL approved’. However, make sure that the manufacturer of the particular product has received the appropriate UL listing.

Q: I have just started installing alarm systems and find it very hard when running wire in very hot attics. Do you have any tips to make my life easier?

A: Summertime can be a very challenging time for attic installation work, especially in the Southern United States. Having moved to Orlando, one of the things I miss the most are cool basements.

Here are some tips from fellow installers that might help make your day safer and more bearable when working in hot summer attics. Don’t take this task lightly as the exposure to this extreme heat can be deadly! You may want to pass a copy of this list on to your boss:

—Plan attic work early in the morning, preferably before 10:30 a.m.

—Always have a partner on-site and use two-way hands-free radios.

—Alternate work in short 15-minute to 30-minute sessions with your partner.

—Drink room temperature Gatorade or Power-Up-type drinks 15 minutes before working. Drink plenty of fluids (not soda). If you feel faint, get to a cool place and put on a shirt or towel soaked in cool water.

—Use protective eye masks and dust masks (3M-8271) to protect yourself from insulation dust and pesticide powders.

—Wear long-sleeve shirts for extra protection from insulation.

—Have extra shirts to change into when done.

—Temporarily place an 18-inch fan on the eve vents to vent hot air and pull in cool air in from the house.

—Use tennis shoes or work shoes with a very good non-slip surface, and soft kneepads for working on beams in a no-floor attic.

—Make sure to have hornet spray handy.

—Have a good droplight—even better—a snake light around your neck, or a headlamp light.

—In shallow roof attics, watch out for sharp roofing nails.

—Use extension-type, hook-and-grab rods as much as possible.

—Don’t just lay wires on the attic deck; use drive rings as much as possible.

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