TÜVs (ˈtʏf; short for Technischer Überwachungsverein, Technical Inspection Association) are internationally active, independent service companies from Germany and Austria that test, inspect and certify technical systems, facilities and objects of all kinds in order to minimize hazards and prevent damages. The TÜV companies are organized into three large holding companies, TÜV Nord, TÜV Rheinland and TÜV SÜD (with TÜV Hessen), along with the smaller independent companies TÜV Thüringen, TÜV Saarland and TÜV Austria.
With the increasing number and efficiency of steam engines during the Industrial Revolution, there had been more and more accidents caused by exploding (or more precisely, bursting) boilers. After the explosion of the boiler at the Mannheim Aktienbrauerei in January 1865, the idea was pursued there to subject boilers to regular inspections on a voluntary basis, as was already the case in Great Britain. Twenty boiler owners in Baden joined in the plans and