Everyone has seen these (and many similar) marks on various devices. They are ubiquitous on electrical appliances and equipment, and many more devices that we depend upon for a comfortable life – safe, secure, and free of worry about many things that we can now take for granted.
These marks are Copyright 2010 Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (displayed here according to Fair Use provisions of copyright law). Before such marks from UL and other 3rd-party safety certification organizations became common, we did have routine worries. We worried that circuit breakers (actually, fuses in the old days) might not cut off an overloaded electrical outlet, resulting in a fire. There also weren’t many manufactured fire extinguishers, because we could not depend upon them to work as well as the buckets of sand and water that many buildings had in their hallways.
Today, we learn from news reports about the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster that legislators will begin to consider 3rd-party testing and certification of oil well blowout preventers. What a quaint idea.
Don’t these misguided politicians know that there is a huge upswell of resentment against a meddling federal government? People who have had no (zero-zip-nada) problem with assurances of safety for mundane and common devices are going to notice if politicians try to improve the reliability and effectiveness of devices that can (if they fail) damage entire ecosystems, interrupt the livelihood of millions of people, and prevent a humongous corporation from having a year of record profits.
When that happens, the Libertarians (perhaps led by the Pauls) will use the obvious fallacy of government supervision of Big Oil to attack the overlooked fallacy of having standards for non-flammability of children’s sleepwear.
When the slumbering giant of ‘Free Enterprise Will Decide Whether People Want Safe & Reliable Products‘ is awakened, we will soon be saved from the unconstitutional nanny state.
When we are saved, we will all sleep better. We will also dis-connect the electricity before we go to bed.