By Stephen R. Kuscsik – UL Principal Engineer
Perimeter security is a concept that many facilities use to deter unauthorized access to a protected premises. Automatic gates and door operators allow for the convenience of opening gated portals to enter the facilities. Electronic Access Control Systems ensure that only authorized and credentialed users can gain access to the protected premises. By pairing the UL 325 and UL 294 standards together both safety and access control security can be achieved for a door or gate operating system.
UL has spent more than a century building expertise in the areas of product and service safety, performance, and reliability testing in numerous global industries. The door and gate industry is no exception and UL remains at the forefront of the technical and regulatory advancements that continue to evolve within the industry itself.
The primary safety standard for this market is UL 325, Standard for Door, Drapery, Gate, Louver, and Window Operators and Systems, but UL understands that some products, applications and/or markets also require assurance in the way of security. More specifically, the access control features associated with a gate are not evaluated relative to physical or cyber security under UL 325; however, when security related safety, cyber and performance evaluations are needed in addition to operational functionality, UL 294, Standard for Access Control System Units, is the ideal solution and the perfect complement to UL 325. Together, the two standards simplify the certification process for manufacturers by allowing all testing to be done at one time, by one globally respected organization. Pairing both certifications allows manufacturers to enjoy all the benefits of UL 325 with the added efficacy for security of UL 294. The 6th edition of UL 294, effective as of December 2015, provides manufacturers more flexibility than ever.
The new tiered structure of the 6th edition offers four distinct performance levels (Level I-IV) for physical attack testing, encrypted communication line security, operational endurance cycling and standby power levels. This structure enhances UL’s customer focus by recognizing the different use applications associated with various markets and security vulnerabilities, while also making it easy for manufacturers to add UL 294 certification to their applicable UL 325 certified products.
To illustrate how the two certifications overlap, think of a gate at an industrial power plant or a gated homeowner’s community. Typically, this gate must be tested and certified to help ensure the electric operators function as planned (UL 325), but the access control system including card readers, scanners, keypads, communications links and even biometric readers must also guarantee that security can be appropriately maintained through an assessment of security vulnerabilities.
The 2015 International Building Code (IBC) Chapter 10 (Means of Egress) requires special locking devices such as controlled egress doors and delayed egress locking systems to be listed to UL 294. The listing requirement to UL 294 was first added to the 2012 IBC. The IBC imposes life safety requirements for these devices such as automatic release in case of a power failure or upon activation of an automatic fire alarm system. The requirement for listing to UL 294 is intended to help ensure the safe performance of these special locking devices.
UL helps manufacturers provide convenience, safety, and security around the world by evaluating products to the applicable requirements in many global regions. Greater market success can be found with products that meet today’s rapidly changing requirements and applications by helping to ensure that a product complies with both UL 325 and applicable UL 294 requirements. UL understands that some applications don’t require the security of access control but, when necessary, UL 294 is the perfect complement for improving market access and allowing manufacturers to stand out from the competition.