Vertical Cable, UL, CCCA speak about unauthorized-mark use as UL issues another alert

Aug. 6, 2010
Manufacturer promises to look into problem, association takes some credit for action.

The two entities involved in a recent alert issued by Underwriters Laboratories have made brief additional comments on the alert, and a cabling industry association has made more extensive commentary on the situation.

On July 26 UL issued an alert about Category 5e cable from Vertical Cable, saying the product was not authorized to bear the UL mark but did anyway. When asked more specific information concerning whether or not the product was ever authorized to use the mark, UL spokesman Joe Hirschmugl responded, "The Vertical Cable cables which we procured from the marketplace were not marked properly, so they should not be considered as Listed products. As stated in the public notice, the cable does not comply with the standard for safety for the United States and Canada, and is not authorized to bear the UL Mark or reference UL."

Vertical Cable private-labels the cable for which the alert was issued. The company's marketing director James Piguet said he is aware of the situation with UL and Vertical Cable is working with the actual manufacturer to determine if there is a problem. If the company finds there is indeed a problem, it will correct it, he said.

The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA) had significantly more to say about the situation than either UL or Vertical Cable. Neither UL nor Vertical Cable is a member of CCCA. In a release the association said, "UL has taken strong actions to maintain the integrity of its UL Mark and cable performance certifications by publicly identifying manufacturers and their distributors who are supplying substandard and unsafe cable products into the market. In addition, UL has established further initiatives to verify the integrity of UL Listed cables through detailed analytical testing of cable component materials and new marketplace surveillance. These efforts are, in part, a result of CCCA sharing information and encouraging each of the two independent testing/certification agencies to develop stronger measures to assure compliance to national fire safety codes and telecommunications industry standards for transmission performance." The statement further applauded UL for its actions and expressed satisfaction with CCCA's role in helping UL improve its quality-assurance procedures.

On August 2 UL issued another, similar alert about cable available from Cable Manufacturing Business. That company's president, Chris Badinelli, told Security Systems News that the situation results simply from an error made by the OEM that makes the cable. "We were never meaning to claim to have a UL listing," he told Security Systems News, further stating the erroneous UL reference occurred on a single shipment of product to one customer. "We weren't happy that the OEM made this error. We have taken corrective action," he said.

Related commentary: Who cares what the CCCA thinks?

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