How to Identify a Counterfeit and Genuine UL Mark on Electrical Products
By Christina Hansen
For over 100 years, Underwriters Laboratories’ ever-recognizable UL Mark has been a beacon of safety and peace of mind, guiding consumers to reputable electrical products that have been rigorously tested and approved for safe use. To this day, the mere presence – or lack of – the trusted UL Mark is enough to make or break the purchases of millions of consumers worldwide. This is why industry leading eTailer CableOrganizer.com, among the world’s foremost providers of cable, wire and equipment management-related products for use in business and at home, today released its guidelines for identifying genuine versus counterfeit UL Marks.
“Like money, art, clothing, and just about anything else of value, the UL Mark has been targeted by counterfeiters,” notes Paul Holstein, CableOrganizer.com COO. “Products of questionable manufacture, which haven’t undergone quality evaluations or safety testing, are regularly sent to market bearing false UL symbols, and can threaten the people who purchase them with risks of fire, shock, and electrocution.”
Although the ratio of counterfeit to legitimate UL Marks is extremely small, consumers can protect themselves by following these CableOrganizer.com UL Mark guidelines when shopping for electrical products:
How to Recognize a Genuine UL MarkWhether a UL Mark comes in the form of a label or is die-stamped, silk-screened or molded into a product, it needs to contain the following 4 design elements to be verified as legitimate:
- The UL trademark: the letters “UL”
arranged diagonally (descending left to right) within a circle, with a small ®
symbol directly below the U
- The word “listed” printed either below or beside
the circle in all capital letters: LISTED
- A 4-character alphanumeric control number, or a 4
to 6-digit issue number. In the case of the issue number, it may or may not be
preceded by the phrase “Issue No.” as well as 1 or 2 letters
- A product identity phrase that concisely names what the product is
Additional signs of a genuine UL Mark are:
- A UL file number (which will often have
the letter “E” as a prefix)
- The manufacturer’s company name or logo
- Applicable electrical ratings
- Information designating the product’s Catalog, Model, or Type designation
Indication that a UL Mark is CounterfeitWhen shopping, steer clear of products whose UL Marks are missing the four main elements outlined above. In addition, keep an eye out for the following red flags, which can also be telling signs of a bogus UL Mark:
Buyer BewareThere are a few retail environments and instances in which you’re more likely to come across counterfeit UL marks. Exercise extra caution when:
How is UL battling counterfeits?In addition to training US government agencies like the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), Underwriters Laboratories has worked to battle counterfeit UL Marks by educating consumers and retailers on counterfeit products, providing law enforcement with real time support, and publishing detailed anti-counterfeit reference materials.
However, from the consumer standpoint, UL’s most noticeable preventive measure is undoubtedly their recently developed Holographic Mark, which will be put into full effect on newly manufactured products as of July 1, 2009. Intended for use on the products most likely to be counterfeited, the new holographic UL Mark features:
To learn more about UL Marks and to view examples, visit http://www.ul.com/marks_labels/mark/index.html.
Consumers may order a wide selection of UL approved electrical products online at http://CableOrganizer.com or via toll-free telephone at 1-866-222-0030.
Founded in February 2002 and headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, CableOrganizer.com is a premier cable and wire management-related product vendor. The company provides companies, organizations and individuals around the globe with 24/7/365 access to an extensive array of high-quality products and information resources through its convenient online storefront. In addition to http://CableOrganizer.com, the company also owns and operates http://CableOrganizer.fr, which is operated out of Rennes, France. CableOrganizer.com also publishes "On the Wire," a free monthly electronic newsletter with a considerable multi-national opt-in circulation base.
Christina Hansen is a Product Specialist at CableOrganizer.com – a leading eTailer of cable, wire and equipment management solutions. She may be reached through the company’s Web site located at http://CableOrganizer.com.