What You Need to Know about UL410 Certified Floorcare ProductsValerie Michiels
Earlier this year, Avmor announced that five of its most popular floorcare products had been UL410 Certified. Those products are:
- Avmor’s EP80, a concentrated floor sealer/finish.
- EP82, an ultra-high-speed (UHS) floor finish that provides high-gloss retention.
- PREMIERE, a high-gloss floor finish designed for low to heavily trafficked areas.
- DISTANCE, a UHS floor finish designed for large floor areas such as malls and airports.
- LUX UHS, for managers and contractors looking for a “wet look” shine on high traffic floor such as in the retail environment.
Since then, we have received a number of questions from end-customers, asking what UL410 certification means and why it is so essential. The following should answer many of those questions.
First of all, what is UL?
UL stood for Underwriters Laboratories and had its founding in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair. Fair organizers were concerned about the safety of the anticipated 30 million visitors coming to the fair, primarily because electricity was to be used throughout the area. UL founder, William Henry Merrill, was called in to assess those risks.
What does UL do?
Just as it did at the Chicago Fair, UL has evaluated the risks of all types of products, helping manufacturers reduce those risks and helping to protect the health and safety of consumers. UL is an independent, third-party organization, which helps ensure its credibility.
What is UL410 Certification?
The UL410 Standard stands for Slip Resistance of Floor Surface Materials. It is designed to help purchasers select products that have been third-party tested to help promote walker safety.
How are the products tested?
To be UL410 certified, the floorcare product must be tested using what is called a “James Machine.” This machine determines the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) of a floor. It works by measuring the resistance of an object in motion. If the test reveals the SCOF is 0.5 or 0.6, that meets accepted minimum standards, meaning the floor finish and the products used to clean, maintain, and polish the floor are designed to enhance walker safety.
But how exactly does the James Machine determine this?
Picture a 25-pound bag of potatoes. Now, let’s drag that bag of potatoes over the floor. If there is little or no resistance on the floor, the bag will slide easily over the floor. But if there is resistance, friction will develop as the bag is moved over the floor. This will make it harder to drag the bag. The James Machine measures this “drag” based on a specific formula, with less than 0.5 considered unsafe and more than 0.5 up to about 0.8 considered safe.
Does this apply to all hard surface floors?
Yes and no. It applies to all commercial floors used in schools and office buildings, for instance, but not necessarily in homes. Also, the recommended coefficient of friction can vary depending on how or where the floor is used. For instance, in a senior care location, a SCOF of 0.6 or slightly higher is recommended for greater floor safety. And if there is an incline or decline in the floor, a SCOF of 0.8 may be prescribed, especially in a medical facility or a senior care location.
What types of products can receive UL410 Certification?
Along with floor finishes and sealers such as those mentioned earlier, UL410 certification can apply to the following:
- Floor covering materials such as wood
- Water-based floor cleaning solutions and finishes
- Fillers and varnishes used in floorcare
- Sweeping compounds
- Walkway construction materials
Why do I need to select UL410 Certified floorcare products?
The most important reason is to help protect the safety of building users. There are millions of slip and fall accidents every year in North America, and thousands of people die from slip and fall accidents every year. Selecting UL410 certified products can help lower these numbers.
Additionally, if you are a cleaning contractor, should a slip and fall accident occur in a facility you clean, you should know that the first thing inspectors will look into is what kinds of cleaning products and finishes have been used on the floor. Showing that only UL410 certified products are being used, can help reduce your liability.
For more information on floorcare, floor safety, and floor needs, contact an Avmor representative.