Since 1970, the IEC has published a series of standards to ensure the safety of household devices. Known as the 60335 series, it is comprised of two parts, with the first part consisting of the general safety requirements for all appliances while the second part addresses the requirements for specific device types.
As the number of these household appliances multiplies and their complexity increases, the IEC has regularly updated the general safety requirements: IEC 60335-1, Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety – Part I: General Requirements. It has now published the latest updates in its sixth edition of the standard.
This standard provides protection against many types of hazards such as electrical, mechanical, thermal, fire and radiation when appliances are used under normal conditions. It also considers how electromagnetic phenomena can affect the safe operation of appliances.
According to Randi Myers, the Project Leader who managed the updates to the latest edition of IEC 60335-1, “household appliance safety plays a big role for society considering the impact these products have on the day-to-day life of consumers and their dispersal across society”.
Addressing a ‘smart’ environment
Connecting household appliances to the internet is a growing trend. Devices can be controlled remotely and even programmed to remember preferences and provide guidance. Despite the novelty and convenience of these new features that require a connection to the internet, they also generate new safety risks. As Myers notes, “Security, in particular security in transactions over the external public network and the web, are of a great concern”.
IEC 60335-1 has been updated to include cyber security requirements in order to avoid unauthorized access and mitigate the effects of transmission failures via remote communication through public networks.
Updating battery requirements
Household appliances are increasingly powered by batteries. To ensure the safety of these products and reduce fire hazards, IEC 60335-1 has been updated with new requirements for battery-operated appliances that are non-rechargeable as well as appliances that use lithium-ion batteries.
Publication of a Commented version
Alongside the publication of IEC 60335-1, the IEC is also making available a Commented version of the standard.
The Commented version clearly identifies the differences between the previous version of the standard and the new version and also provides comments on each of the main technical changes. IEC 60335-1 is one of the first IEC Standards to be offered as a Commented version (CMV).
A longer version of this article is available on e-tech.