13 Jan Are Paloform fire pits UL approved? Understanding the Standards: CSA, UL, ETL and more
In the realm of gas appliances in North America, there are some misconceptions about what a “certified” product is. Clients will often ask if we have a “UL approval” or a “CSA certification.” There are two parts to the answer that lie in the difference between the “Standard” and the “Certification”: the standard that a product complies to and the certification mark that designates compliance.
- The Standards
Most products that go into a building require some kind of certification or approval in order to meet building codes and, more importantly, to demonstrate that they meet minimum standards of quality and safety. Thus, for every product category there is a specific standard, or set of published requirements, that is nationally or internationally accepted. Some organizations, like CSA (Canadian Standards Association) and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) are accredited to develop and publish standards. In the case of fire pits, there is a harmonized standard published by CSA and ANSI: CSA 2.41-2014/ANSI Z21.97-2014 – Outdoor decorative gas appliances. This is the single standard for these types of products within the US and Canada.
- The Certification
This process requires that a product pass a series of tests as defined by the Standard and that testing be carried out by an internationally accredited testing lab. In the US and Canada, this means that the lab must be an OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) recognized NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) and accredited as a Testing Organization and Certification Body by the Standards Council of Canada. For gas appliances, in addition to CSA and UL, Intertek and Omni-Test Labs are accredited testing labs for North America. Each company has its own unique certification marking and listing of certified products but they are all tested to the same standards and each marking is equivalent.
So, for any applicable product type there is one standard but several possible testing labs. A product can be UL certified to a CSA standard and will carry the UL marking – or vice versa.
Paloform’s range of gas and propane-burning fire pits bear the ETL marking, which means that they have been tested and certified by Intertek. So, the answer the question in the title of this post is “no”, they are ETL listed to CSA/ANSI standards, but in practice, this is the same thing.
We have recently achieved CE Certification on all of our outdoor firepit products. The EU is governed by a standard Gas Appliance Directive, the standards of which all gas-burning appliances must comply and be certified to. Paloform’s modern fire pits have been tested and certified to these standards and may now carry the CE marking. Read more about the CE Certification here.