Part One: Red Tagging
By Bruce Bohren, Primary Designated Engineer, UL

Has a store opening delay happened to you? Maybe it was during a major renovation or before a grand opening. The store is a few days away from the planned opening and the local electrical inspector comes in and “red tags” one of your displays. That delays your opening until the retail fixtures can be inspected, costing you money and time. No retailer wants that to happen to them.

An easy way to avoid this situation is to always request that the retail fixture or furnishing has been evaluated by a third party for safety requirements. Retail fixtures can include:

  • Lighted jewelry cabinets or display cases featuring fluorescent lights, tungsten halogen lamps, and LED lighting
  • Wall systems that provide shelving, lighting and electricity to power products
  • Computerized stations to help customers locate products in store
  • Electronic device displays for tablets, phones and cameras
  • Carpet dispensers
  • Luminaire (lighting) displays

Although requesting UL certified displays may cost a little more on the front end, you will avoid lost income due to store opening delays and “red tagging”.  Certified displays provideretailers with confidence that fixtures displays are designed to meet minimum safety requirements and make it unlikely to cause injury to customers or employees and damage to stores.

If you do run into a situation with a red tagged display, UL offers a field evaluation service.  Inspectors will visit your store and inspect the products.  Modifications may be needed to displays in the field if there are construction or testing issues. Once the necessary changes are made, the display will need to be re-inspected and possibly retested.  This can delay openings by days or even weeks, so having displays certified ahead of time saves time and money in the long run.

Check back for Part 2 of this blog series, on how to have products certified before they are installed.

Contact UL today to learn more about how to avoid red tagging, and have displays inspected or certified.