4 Sept 2015
Commission Decision Altering Safety Standard for Household Electrical Appliances
On 3 August 2015, a Commission Decision altering safety standards for certain household electrical appliances entered into force. The EU’s Official Journal published, on 13 July 2015, Commission Implementing Decision 2015/1143 on particular requirements for appliances for heating liquids, under Directive 2006/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. Directive 2006/95/EC relates to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits.
In September 2014, Cyprus made a formal complaint regarding standard EN 60335-2-15:2002, which covers safety of electrical appliances that heat liquids, stating that the standard did not contain specific provisions for coffee or general-use appliances intended for heating certain kinds of liquids.
The appliances are described as consisting of an open pot with a handle with an enclosed heating element at the bottom. The heating element is energised by placing the pot over an electrical base, similar to conventional electric kettles. The contents of the pot rise, even before boiling, and overflow even if the operation is stopped or the appliance is removed from the base. As a result, there is a serious risk of burns, and the standard does not conform to Directive 2006/95/EC.
Directive 2006/95/EC, also known as the Low Voltage Directive (LVD), applies to all electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current, and between 75 and 1500 V for direct current. It therefore applies to most consumer goods. Voltage ratings refer to the voltage of the electrical input or output, not to voltages that may appear inside the equipment.
The LVD covers all risks arising from the use of electrical equipment, including not just electrical risks but also mechanical, chemical, and all other risks. The Directive also covers health aspects of noise and vibrations, and ergonomic aspects as far as ergonomic requirements are necessary to protect against hazards in the sense of the Directive.
The Directive requires that Member States take all appropriate measures to ensure that electrical equipment is only placed on the market if it is constructed in accordance with good engineering practice in safety matters in force in the EU, and only if it does not endanger the safety of persons, domestic animals or property when properly installed and maintained and used in applications for which it was made.
The Commission and the EU’s Low Voltage Directive Working Party concluded that standard EN 60335-2-15:2002 does not meet the safety objectives of Directive 2006/95/EC.
The publication of titles and references of European harmonised standard EN 60335-2-15:2002 under the LVD is published as an Annex to the new Commission Implementing Decision. The Commission is of the view that, taking into consideration the safety aspects to be improved, and pending a suitable revision of the standard, the standard should be accompanied by an appropriate warning.
This Commission Implementing Decision is therefore accompanied by a warning that states that, “The application of this publication does not confer a presumption of conformity with the safety objectives provided for in point 1(d) in conjunction with point 2(b) of Annex I to Directive 2006/95/EC, in particular with respect to the hazards arising from the overflowing of hot coffee or hot liquids, in respect of appliances intended for, or known by experience to be used for, preparing certain kinds of coffee, or for heating certain liquids (e.g. milk) that expand during the coffee making or liquid heating process”.
Please click the following link to see: Commission Implementing Decision 2015/1143.