Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced a new UL Certificate Program for Firefighting Garment Repair Organizations.
The Certificate Program allows groups that repair structural and proximity firefighting garments to NFPA 1851-2008 – “Standard on Selection, Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting” to obtain formal certification.
Effective June 24, 2007, the new edition of NFPA 1851 contains new language requiring independent, third-party verification of fire departments and other organizations that perform advanced repair of structural and proximity firefighting garments.
“We understand that first responders need confidence in the integrity of firefighting garments after they’ve been repaired,” said Chris Hasbrook, vice president and general manager of UL’s Global Fire & Security Sector. “Specialized, heavy duty firefighting garments are very costly and require precision, expert repair if damaged during use.”
UL’s new Certificate Program provides firefighters, fire department officials, and original garment manufacturers with a greater level of confidence in their chosen repair organization as well as enabling those who provide repair services the advantage of demonstrating their compliance to a rigorous, respected standard.
UL is one of the few certification organizations that comply with the NFPA 1851-2008 mandate requiring verification only by those accredited in accordance with the international standard known as ISO Guide 65 to certify PPE (personal protective equipment). UL has classified firefighting PPE to NFPA standards since 1991. UL’s Mark is relied on by fire departments to assure that firefighting PPE meet stringent NFPA requirements.
UL’s certification includes independent assessment of the organization’s quality management system and testing of repaired garment samples to validate the effectiveness of repair processes.
This Certificate Program applies to:
- Repair Service organizations that repair garments for the fire service, and
- Fire department organizations that repair their own garments.
This Certificate Program also requires that the repair organization:
- Maintain an effective quality management system;
- Repair specified firefighting garment samples such that the repairs meet NFPA 1971-2008 performance requirements; and
- Undergo two random unannounced inspections per year to demonstrate continued compliance.
Once the repair organization or fire department meets the requirements, UL will issue a Certificate effective for one year and list the certified entity in UL’s Fire Protection Directory and on UL.com. Certificated organizations meeting the requirements of NFPA 1851-2008 may also state in their promotional materials that they are a “UL Certificated Firefighting Garment Repair Organization.”
For more information about the new UL Certificate Program for Firefighting Garment Repair Organizations or to apply for certification, contact UL’s Customer Service Staff at 1-877-ULHELPS (1-877-854-3577) or e-mail: PPE@us.ul.com.