The UL web site is poised to host a new service that will allow consumers to locate UL-listed alarm companies anywhere in the country.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Northbrook, Ill., has been heavily involved in fire and burglar alarm certification since 1923.

“Over the years, the general quality of installed alarm systems has varied. But with the market shift in late 2000, the insurance industry again started demanding certification,” says Isaac Papier, general manager of the Signaling and Security Systems Strategic Business Unit of UL.

Now, insurance-conscious consumers are concerned with how to add value to an alarm system and how to locate UL-listed companies, Papier notes.

“The insurance industry is pushing hard for UL certifications so consumers are looking for UL-certified companies,” Papier says.

Therefore, the busy UL web site is gearing up to host a new service. Soon, users will be able to enter their zip codes and types of alarm systems desired and in return receive listings of the three closest UL-certified service companies in that area.

UL is expecting to activate this new service early this year.

The service will be free to consumers and free to UL-listed alarm companies as part of the UL fee. For an additional charge, UL-listed companies will be able to create hyperlinks, which will drive leads directly to the company’s own web site.

Additionally, UL will collect location-specific data and data on what kind of alarms systems are desired. UL can map these geographical predilections, and produce breakdowns of national and local trends in alarm preferences.

The new UL service will be initially marketed with the assistance of the insurance industry in the form of bill stuffers. Further marketing efforts could include potential paid positions on popular search engines. Of course, the web site will also be publicized on UL’s home page and throughout UL’s consumer information publications.


Generally, dealers and integrators stated consistent numbers of new systems sold by their companies in recent years. However, between 2002 and 2003, some in the industry saw very large increases in sales of residential video surveillance systems while residential home systems sales dropped dramatically. Modest gains and losses were also experienced in non-residential security alarm systems and residential security alarm systems, respectively.