Plugged in safely

It’s all about trust

The home appliance industry is booming and is expected to generate USD 590 billion by 2020, according to Statista, a market research company.

Malfunctioning iron on fire
If household appliances misfunction they may pose a safety risk

Today, we own many appliances, large, small and a growing number which are smart. Some may use water, such as washing machines and others heat up, for instance toasters or grill ovens. The list is long, but these devices help us store and prepare food, clean and make things around the home, and then there are those for personal grooming. From hair dryers, fridges, vacuum cleaners and irons, to sewing machines, kettles, microwaves and televisions, we plug them into the mains without a second thought for safety.

We simply expect and assume that manufacturers have done whatever it takes to ensure that the entire appliance, including cords and switches, will function correctly and safely.

Standards and testing build confidence

Manufacturers must adhere to strict regulations regarding safety and performance of their products in order to get them to market and be sure that consumers will buy them. However, Standards alone are not enough; consumers want proof the products were actually made according to these Standards.

IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, offers manufacturers the possibility to demonstrate conformity with the prescribed Standard, through the IECEE CB Scheme. This is an international conformity assessment system for mutual acceptance of third-party test reports and certificates dealing with the safety of electrical and electronic components, equipment and products.

The Scheme uses the IEC 60335 series of Standards produced by IEC Technical Committee 61, for testing the safety of household and similar appliances.

Some of the provisions include testing for electric shock, water and moisture resistance, heat and fire resistance for insulating plastics, which protect live elements in plugs and cords, as well as stability and mechanical hazards for appliances with blades such as slicing or mincing machines. The Standards also consider devices left unattended which contain pre-programmed switching systems, such as electric kettles.  

Multiple benefits for all

Everyone stands to benefit from using the IECEE System of testing and certification. Manufacturers can ensure their products are safe, reliable and perform as they should, while at the same time, consumers trust what they are buying.

Additionally, manufacturers can reduce delays and the associated costs due to multiple testing regimes in many countries. Products can be certified once by certification organizations in participating IECEE countries. The resulting test certificates and test reports are usually accepted by the national authorities and regulators, retailers, buyers and vendors of other participating countries worldwide, without the need for further product assessment.

Find out more about IECEE and its Schemes.