Selling Safe Consumer Electrical Products In The United States
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Selling Safe Consumer Electrical Products In The United States

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Selling Safe Consumer Electrical Products In The United States Selling Safe Consumer Electrical Products In The United States Presentation Transcript

  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Selling Safe Consumer Electrical Products In The United States John Golden Regional Product Safety Attaché (Asia-Pacific) U.S. Embassy, Beijing This presentation was prepared by CPSC staff. It has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission and may not reflect its views.
  • Electrical Product Hazards • Electricity is a powerful, useful energy source that is potentially hazardous. • Product failures or misuse can cause fires, electric shock, thermal burns (such as from exposure to hot surfaces) and chemical burns (such as from batteries). • Equipment that generates, distributes or uses electrical energy should be compliant with standards and installed according to applicable electrical codes to mitigate safety risks.
  • Electrical Product Hazards U.S. Data - From 2006 to 2008: 50,100 structure fires per year - 400 deaths, 2,990 injuries & $1.3 billion property losses - Fires caused mostly by: - Electric cooking equipment - Electrical distribution system components - Electric heating and cooling equipment 53 electrocutions on average per year
  • Electrical Product Hazard Prevention Strategies • Supporting improvements to voluntary standards/codes CPSC staff promotes electrical safety through a multi-pronged approach } • Creating and enforcing technical regulations and bans • Identifying products with defects and hazards through surveillance activities and recalls • Developing education programs for consumers
  • Voluntary Consensus Standards • The electrical product safety system primarily relies on compliance with voluntary industry-consensus standards. • Wholesalers and retailers specify which standard a supplier must meet. • Three technical regulations for electrical products under CPSC’s jurisdiction. •
  • Voluntary Consensus Standards • CPSC’s regulations do not require 3rd party certification for electrical products, but there is a high rate of voluntary participation – Many retailers will only sell electrical products if they have been certified – Some states and municipalities require certification for all electrical products to be sold in those jurisdictions – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certification for electrical products used in the workplace CPSC staff strongly recommends that manufacturers or exporters/importers seek 3rd party certification for their electrical products as a means of hazard mitigation.
  • Voluntary Consensus Standards • Since CPSC staff relies primarily on voluntary standards over mandatory regulations for electrical products, the staff actively participates in the process of maintaining the standards by addressing emerging hazards through development and adoption of new or modified requirements. • This continuous process begins with reviewing information from CPSC’s data collection systems.
  • Incident Databases IPII Injury and potential injury incident data* DTHS Death certificates INDP In-depth investigations NEISS National Electronic Injury Surveillance System NFIRS National Fire Incident Reporting System *Hotline, On-line consumer reports, Newspapers, News on Internet
  • Voluntary Standards - Staff Participation Analyze injury/death data for hazard patterns Participate in committees Propose standards development or revisions Review standards for inadequacies Conduct tests and evaluations to support findings
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #1: In 2004, document shredding machines were implicated in a number of finger amputations in small children. Data Analysis CPSC staff reviewed incident databases for paper shredder incidents to determine the causes and scenarios that may lead to finger injuries.
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #1: Document Shredding Machines Data Analysis The most severe injuries, amputations, occurred when a child was feeding paper into a shredder (even under adult supervision) and did not release the paper in time and their hand was pulled into the opening.
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #1: Document Shredding Machines Standards Review CPSC staff reviewed UL 60950-1 Information Technology Equipment – Safety – Part 1: General Requirements for accessibility to moving parts requirements for paper shredders
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #1: Paper Shredders Evaluation CPSC staff examined paper shredders for design variations and to assess the efficacy of accessibility probes
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #1: Document Shredding Machines Standards Revision CPSC staff issued a report of test results showing design/standard vulnerabilities and proposed a working group to discuss findings.
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #1: Document Shredding Machines Standards Panel Participation CPSC staff participated in UL 60950 working group to develop new test requirements to reduce access to hazardous moving parts.
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #1: Document Shredding Machines Standards Panel Participation Panel voted to accept proposed changes to UL 60950-1 to address moving parts accessibility
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #2: Flexible Lighting Products (Rope Lights) Data Analysis CPSC staff was receiving reports of incidents involving rope lights, which had been in use as a commercial product, but was being sold for residential use. Raised concerns about possible risks of shock or fire. A rope light is a string of series and/or series-parallel connected lamps enclosed in a flexible polymeric tube or extrusion.
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #2 : Rope Lights Standards Review There was no standard for rope lights. Although similar to holiday lights, rope lights differ in several ways, including installation longer than 90 days, which put them out of the scope of the holiday lighting standard.
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #2 : Rope Lights Evaluation CPSC staff examined the rope lights and defined the areas of concern for residential use, such as field configuration (cutting lights to length).
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #2 : Rope Lights Standards Revision CPSC staff proposed development of a standard for rope lights based on identified potential hazards.
  • Voluntary Standards Process Case Study #2 : Rope Lights Standards Panel Participation First Edition of UL 2388 – Standard for Safety of Flexible Lighting Products was issued July 3, 2002
  • Technical Regulations Only three technical regulations for electrical products under CPSC’s jurisdiction: • 16 CFR 1505 – Requirements for electricallyoperated toys or other electrically operated articles intended for use by children • 16 CFR 1204 – Safety Standard for Omnidirectional Citizens Band Base Station Antennas • 16 CFR 1120.3(a) – Requirements for handheld hair dryers require integral immersion protection in accordance with UL 859 and UL 1727
  • Other Requirements Safe Installation = Electrical Safety • The National Electrical Code (NEC) covers the installation of electrical equipment in public and private premises. – Product standards requirements are in accordance with the NEC. • The NEC is a consensus code published by the National Fire Protection Association. – This is NOT a national standard, but it is widely adopted as law by state and local municipalities.
  • Recalls A product for which it has been preliminarily determined to create a substantial product safety hazard must be recalled, i.e., removed from sale and those in consumer’s hands must be remedied through repair, replacement, or refund, as appropriate under the circumstances.
  • Consumer Education Besides working to make products safer, CPSC staff strives to make consumers safer users through information and education and engaging them in thinking about safety first.
  • Consumer Education • www.cpsc.gov • www.SaferProducts.gov • Press releases • Neighborhood Safety Network • Publications • News Conferences • Social media
  • Responsibility to Comply • Compliance with applicable regulations, standards and the NEC are highly effective ways to mitigate hazards from equipment that generates, distributes, or uses electrical energy. All equally responsible Manufacturers Importers Distributors Retailers • Importers, although reliant on foreign producers, are directly responsible for the safety of products they bring into the United States.
  • Responsibility to Comply Manufacturers and importers should follow best practices to ensure that their products do not pose undue risks and need to be recalled. • Comply with consensus standards and technical regulations • Obtain third-party certification for products • Implement a rigorous recordkeeping system to document all relevant aspects of design and manufacturing to assure that all changes can be easily tracked • Maintain quality and configuration control • Assess impact of material or component substitutions
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #3: This hair dryer is missing an immersion detection current interrupter (IDCI) plug and presents a risk of electrocution if dropped in water. It violates the requirements under 16 CFR 1120.3(a) . CPSC seized products at the port.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #4: Uncertified luminaire did not meet voluntary standards requirements. It was assembled with poor workmanship, lacked proper strain relief on the power cord and did not have a polarized plug. Unit posed fire and shock hazards. CPSC seized units at the port.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #5: Uncertified decorative lighting string did not meet voluntary standards requirements. The wire was undersized, plug lacked overcurrent protection, strain relief was inadequate and circuit enclosure was not flame-resistant. Unit posed fire and shock hazards. CPSC seized units at the port.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #6: Uncertified handheld work light did not meet voluntary standards requirements. Deficiencies included assembly with poor workmanship, undersized wire, inadequate strain relief on the power cord and substandard components. Unit posed fire and shock hazards. CPSC seized units at the port.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #7: Uncertified portable electric fan did not meet voluntary standard requirements; deficiencies included motor without thermal protection, undersized wire, inadequate strain relief on the power cord and lack of integral overcurrent protection in plug. Unit posed fire and shock hazards. CPSC seized units at the port.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #8: Remote control toy helicopters provided with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries without charge/discharge control circuitry or thermal protection, allowing batteries to be overcharged or overdischarged, overheat and ignite. Posed fire hazard. Units recalled.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #9: Uncertified 6-outlet current tap did not meet the voluntary standard. It was poorly constructed from inadequate materials. Sheet metal was too thin and flimsy and lacked strength to properly contact plug blades. Resulting loose connections can arc and overheat. Ground pin was poorly fastened to grounding bus. Unit posed fire and shock hazards. CPSC seized units at the port.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #10: Uncertified power strip was not compliant with the standard. Power cord and internal wiring were severely undersized, and the cord strain relief was inadequate. Sheet metal buses were too thin and flimsy and deformed when a plug was inserted. Internal connections were poorly made and easily came loose. Unit posed fire and shock hazards. CPSC seized units at the port.
  • Follow Best Practices – Avoid Unsafe Products Case Study #11: Third-party certified dehumidifier involved in fire incidents. Poor recordkeeping and failure to follow process controls allowed non-flame resistant plastic resins to be used in enclosure molding in place of approved polymeric material. Insufficient flame-resistance allowed internal failure to ignite surrounding plastic and propagate flames beyond unit. Units recalled.
  • Summary Electrical product safety does not happen by accident; it requires diligence and vigelance from producer to user. • Be aware of CPSC regulations • Follow applicable voluntary standards during design and manufacturing of products • Obtain third-party certification for products • Follow best manufacturing practices to ensure products are built consistently and with proper quality and safety
  • John Golden Regional Product Safety Attaché (Asia-Pacific) U.S. Embassy, Beijing Phone: 86-10-8531-3318 Fax: 86-10-8531-3652 E-mail: jgolden@cpsc.gov E-mail: goldenjx@state.gov 39