UL on the Mark

The original text of this article is from UL's publication 'On the Mark', Summer 1998 Volume 4, Number 2.

It beeps, blasts, plays music
Yeah, but can it make thousands of julienne fries?

Maybe this newly UL/C-UL Listed appliance can't cut potatoes and cook, but the first-of-a-kind home safety device brings old and new technologies together into a useful and possibly life-saving combination - a clock-radio/carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.

This new product looks like a modern version of an electric clock-radio, and works just like one, too. The difference is that a single-station CO alarm is tucked in with the electronic "insides" of the clock-radio. But all a consumer will notice are a small indicator light and a CO alarm test button. The CO alarm device is preset, and only needs an occasional press of the test button to check for proper operation.

The combined features allow consumers to not only have a traditional alarm clock next to their beds, but also have the added protection of a CO alarm. This alarm device inside the clock-radio senses elevated levels of CO in the room and sounds an audible signal to alert sleepers to the potential poisoning risk. The audible alarm is especially important to sleepers, as CO is a poisonous gas that has no taste or smell - and kills more than 250 people in the United States alone every year, many of them in their beds. The device offers consumers a product design intended to complement their primary CO alarms.

Since this is a new combination of products, UL's engineers faced some different challenges in their evaluation. The product had to meet the requirements of two UL Standards, UL 2034 (effective Oct. 1, 1998), Single- and Multiple-Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms, and UL 1270, Radio Receivers, Audio Systems, and Accessories - two investigations in one. "Each of the investigations was fairly straightforward and in accordance with the two Standards involved," said Lisa Mills, UL Engineering Services, "but since this is a life-safety device, we had to make sure that the radio didn't interfere with the CO alarm, and that the detector's 85-decibel audible signal would override the sound of the clock's alarm or the radio being played full blast."

The idea for this dual-purpose product came from Patrick Hung, the president of Patrick Plastics, the producer of the clock-radio/CO alarm. "Mr. Hung knew from existing data that CO is most dangerous while you're asleep and also that most people have radio-alarms in their bedrooms," said James Chan, vice president of Engineering at Patrick. "He determined we could offer consumers a product they use every day that could also save their lives. We're planning to market the product in North America in the very near future, and eventually hope to generate interest in Europe."

The product is manufactured in China by Patrick Plastics, and sold under the brand name S-TECH. And, as a part of UL's Multiple Listing Service, it is also sold under the brand name GE.

For more information about this new dual-purpose product, call one of UL's client advisors in Northbrook, Ill., at (847) 272-8800, ext. 42396; fax (847) 509-6220; or e-mail northbrook@ul.com.

TEL:(905) 660-90661-800-203-7987
FAX:(905) 660-9261
E-mail: info@s-tech.ca
Website: www.s-tech.ca

Stech is ISO 9001 Compliant