CPSC supports continuous improvement to voluntary safety standards
This protection device is recognizable as a relatively large block-shaped plug that incorporates the plug blades for connection to the electrical receptacle and usually carries two pushbuttons, labeled "Test" and "Reset."
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC Electrical Product Safety StrategiesThis presentation was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and may not reflect the views of, the Commission.
Electrical Product Hazards• Electricity is a powerful, useful energy source but consumers often forget 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).
Electrical Product HazardsU.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 equipment53 electrocutions per year
Electrical Product Hazard Prevention Strategies • Supporting improvements to voluntary standards/codes • Creating and enforcing CPSC staff promotes }electrical safety through a multi-pronged technical regulations and bans • Identifying products with approach defects and hazards through surveillance activities and recalls • Developing education programs to consumers
Voluntary Consensus Standards• The electrical product safety system relies on compliance with voluntary industry-consensus standards.• Most of the electrical product safety standards are developed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).• There are very few mandatory requirements for electrical products under CPSC’s jurisdiction. – OSHA requires certification for electrical products used in the workplace – Some states and municipalities also require certification
CPSC Voluntary Standards Monitoring Participate in committees Propose Analyze standards injury/death development data for hazard or revisions patterns Conduct tests Review and evaluations standards for to support findings inadequaciesCPSC staff does not vote.
Voluntary Standards MonitoringExample: In 2010, there was an increase in the rate of severe injuries due to ingestion of button and coin cell batteries. Consumer Electronics CPSC participated in UL Association drafted proposal 60065 - Audio, Video, and adding accessibility Similar Electronic Apparatus requirements for coin cell committee. batteries used in remote controls. New requirements were added to UL 60065 in June 2012.
Technical RegulationsRegulatory process can be started by vote of theCommission or by a petition from an interested party CPSC statutes specify that voluntary standards should be relied upon. However, a regulation may be issued if: the current voluntary there is not standard does or substantial not adequately compliance. reduce the risk
Technical RegulationsThree electrical products under CPSC’s jurisdictionwith technical regulations:• Electric toys - 16 CFR 1505 – Requirement for electrically operated toys or other electrically operated articles intended for use by children• Citizen’s band (CB) base station antennas and supporting structures• Handheld hair dryers: UL 859 and UL 1727 require immersion protection
Other RequirementsSafe Installation = Electrical Safety• The National Electrical Code covers the installation of electrical equipment in public and private premises.• 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.
Voluntary Standards and RecallsIn some cases, failure to comply with a consensusvoluntary standard indicates to the CPSC that aproduct contains a defect that presents a substantialproduct hazard. Example: These lights do not meet the voluntary Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standard due to insufficient wire size. They can overheat and pose a fire and shock risk. CPSC can seek a recall.
Technical Regulations and RecallsThis hair dryer is missinga leakage currentinterrupter (ALCI) plugand presents a risk ofelectrocution if droppedin water. It does not meetthe technical regulationissued by the CPSC .CPSC will seek a recall.
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 Distributors Retailers Importers• Importers, although reliant on foreign producers, are directly responsible for the safety of products they bring into the United States.
Surveillance Databases IPII DTHS INDP NEISS NFIRS Injury and National Nationalpotential Electronic Fire Death In-depth Injury Incident injury certificates investigations Surveillance Reportingincident System System data* *Hotline, On-line consumer reports, Newspapers, News on Internet
Surveillance Activities • Program plan for regulated products; surveillance for defects Retail and other risks • Check for conformity with regulations and for recalledInternet products • Investigators at key ports of entryPorts and • Analysts identify most likely at- airports risk products
Import Surveillance• Imported products frequently recalled or stopped at ports: • Indoor Extension Cords • Decorative Lights • Lamps • Hair Dryers• A spot-check of a few key features can reveal potential safety problems like undersized wire and inadequate strain relief.
Hazard AnalysisTechnical staff assists the Office ofCompliance in evaluating products:• Involved in incidents and which exhibit a pattern of failure• Involved in consumer or manufacturer reports• Picked up by CBP officers or CPSC import surveillance staff
Consumer Education• www.cpsc.gov• www.SaferProducts.gov• Press releases• Neighborhood Safety Network• Publications• News Conferences• Social media
Consumer EducationExample of consumer education: Press release on dangers of counterfeit productsThe CPSC warns consumers that unlike a fake purse orwatch, counterfeit electrical products could pose a riskof injury or death. Counterfeit circuit breakers, powerstrips, extension cords, batteries and holiday lights cancause fires, explosions, shocks and electrocutions.
Dangers of Counterfeit ProductsTips to help avoid counterfeit hazards:• Scrutinize the product, the packaging and the labeling. Look for a certification mark from an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and the manufacturers label. Trademarked logos that look different than usual may signal a counterfeit.• Trust your instincts. If the price is "too good to be true," it could be because the product is an inferior and unsafe counterfeit.
Dangers of Counterfeit Products• Be extra vigilant when buying from an unknown source such as a street vendor, non-authorized dealer, online retailer or an individual. Ask about the return policy. Get a receipt and look for missing sales tax.• Stay informed. Sign up for CPSC e-mail alerts, so when a dangerous product is recalled, youll know about it right away.• Report safety-related incidents to the manufacturer and CPSC.
ConclusionsManufacturers and importers should use best practicesto ensure safe products enter into chain of commerce. – Comply with consensus standards and technical regulations. – Seek products with third-party certification. – Be wary of material or component substitutions. – Conduct spot inspections.
ConclusionsConsumers should take great care to: – Carefully inspect electrical products for damage before use and discard damaged products. – When purchasing new, look for products that are certified. – Follow all instructions and use only as intended.
Contact Information Dean W. Woodard M.S.Director, Office of Education, Global Outreach, andSmall Business OmbudsmanE-mail: Dwoodard@cpsc.gov Phone: 301-504-7651