Products put through paces at Underwriters Laboratories - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Products put through paces at Underwriters Laboratories

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CHICAGO -

Product safety is something we may take for granted in the United States. The everyday things we have in the house are safer because one company puts them through rigorous tests.   

Who does dangerous work so that you are not in danger? Underwriters Laboratories. It's where they set products on fire and explode them so you don't have to be worried about a product that could.

Manufacturers send their products to the independent lab in Chicago. They ask them to beat it up, and blow it up to make sure it can survive a worst-case scenario and when it does, give it the UL seal.    

"We're looking at the products for safety. Are there fire hazards? Are there electrical shock hazards? Are there mechanical hazards or even radiation hazard," said engineer John Drengenberg.

According to Underwriters Laboratories, the UL mark appears on products around the world 23 billion times a year.  No product is required to be tested but many are.  

So next time you sit on the mattress or the couch, two of the biggest potential household fire hazards, know that this lab has probably tested them.

The facility uses so much water that they can't use the local water supply.  Underneath the building is a reservoir with more than a quarter of a million gallons of water.

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