The global technological development is evolving rapidly. Appliances and systems, both for private and industrial use, are increasingly of an electrical, remotely controlled, and automated nature. Therefore, the many new solutions require focus on safety and quality for consumers. Just as with the increasing focus on sustainability and circular economy, safety requirements are needed for products that have been repaired or manufactured using recycled components. In this connection, standards play a key role in ensuring that electrical appliances are safe for consumers to use, irrespective of where they are manufactured or sold.
– The use of standards helps to ensure a high minimum level of safety in products delivered to consumers. Moreover, they are essential factors for trade and industry in relation to the sale of products in Denmark and internationally, making it easier to sell the same products in several markets. At the same time, it is important that standards are continually developed to match ongoing technological developments, says Jørn Landkildehus, Head of Danfoss Group Approvals, who participates in the development of standards for electrical products.
Unique opportunity for Danish influence
Standards for electrical household appliances are developed under the auspices of the international organization IEC with the participation of enterprises, organizations, and authorities from all over the world. It is these experts who will convene from 12 to 16 June at a plenary meeting to be hosted by Denmark.
– It is a unique opportunity for Danish industry to promote Danish interests and initiatives in the digital development. Participation in the work to prepare future standards offers an opportunity to gain influence on future market requirements, and consequently, the outcome of standardization can affect Denmark for many years as regards the development and growth of Danish enterprises, says Henning Nielsen, Senior Consultant at Danish Standards and in charge of the Danish standards committee for the safety of electrical household appliances etc. This is the committee where Danish stakeholders in this field participate and formulate the Danish attitudes to these standards.
The plenary meeting will be attended by members of the Danish standards committee, who come from enterprises and organizations, such as Velux, Lego, Grundfos, UL, Nilfisk, Danfoss, Linak and the Danish Consumer Council (TÆNK).
Safety in smart devices
Among the issues to be discussed at the meeting are the assessment of potential safety risks associated with new technologies, such as smart devices. Also safety requirements related to reused and recycled products as well as sub-components will become an essential topic for discussion. Another important focus area is safety for children, e.g. avoiding hot surfaces, places where small fingers can be trapped, or products that resemble toys.
In addition to the development of new standards, the meeting will also address ongoing revisions of existing safety standards, such as IEC 60335-1, which set general requirements for the safety of household appliances and similar electrical appliances, to ensure that they are updated in respect of new technologies and safety issues.
– One of the standards on the agenda is IEC 60335-2-116, which addresses the safety of electrical furniture, such as adjustable beds and armchairs. The standard is to set safety requirements to help prevent injuries and accidents, as this furniture can pose a safety risk if not designed and constructed properly, says Dragan Macura, Regulatory Compliance Manager at Linak. Dragan Macura emphasizes that the Copenhagen meeting is an important opportunity for experts from all over the world to meet and collaborate on critical issues related to the safety of household appliances and similar electrical appliances.