Standardisation linked to domestic appliances covers a wide range of products, from toasters, microwave and simple ovens, to hairdryers, water heaters and garden equipment. The high number of annual home and leisure accidents involving household appliances, and the relative severity of these accidents, are the main reasons for ANEC involvement in the standardisation of domestic appliances (electrical appliances, gas appliances and machinery). Domestic appliances are subject to EU legislation and fall within the scope of either the Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC (electrical household appliances), the Gas Appliances Directive 90/396/EC, the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, or the General Product Safety Directive 92/59/EEC.
Our work in the area of domestic appliances is co-ordinated through the ANEC Domestic Appliances Working Group.
Microwave ovens, refrigerators, toasters, water heaters and many other electrical appliances are present every day in our lives. It is crucial that these appliances are safe when they are used by consumers. It is one of the main goals of the Domestic Appliances WG to actively follow the standardisation work of CENELEC TC 61. Its scope is to harmonise recognised international standards dealing with safety requirements for electrical household appliances and prepare, when necessary, harmonised standards for such appliances.
2. The use of appliances by vulnerable consumers including children, older people and people with disabilities
Following efforts and research from ANEC since 2003, CENELEC TC 61 is in the process of adjusting its standards to social changes and taking into account the use of appliances by children, elderly and people with disabilities, based on proposals from ANEC. The first six revised standards were adopted in 2010, which was a huge achievement for ANEC. The DOMAP WG is actively following this work in close cooperation with the Design for All WG and the Child Safety Working Group. See further details in the Design for All section above.
The delicacy of their skin and/or slower reaction times leave children, the elderly and people with disabilities at increased risk of burns in the household environment. The potential risks peak when the handles and knobs of household appliances (such as irons and toasters) are too hot. In 2007, CENELEC Guide 29 ‘Temperatures of surfaces likely to be touched - Part 1: Temperatures of hot surfaces’ was issued, at the request of the European Commission, to tackle the problem of hot surface temperatures. ANEC actively participated in the development of the Guide and monitors that relevant product standards follow the provisions of the Guide.
The way in which appliances are designed and used for the handling, storage, preparation and cooking of food in the household situation is not covered by current standards. Following ANEC research on food safety and hygiene requirements in the standards for electrical household appliances, as well as concerns expressed by Member States authorities, CENELEC TC 61 started to look into the issue in 2011 with a proposal from ANEC to include food and hygiene requirements in the standard EN 60335-2-24 “Refrigerating appliances, ice-cream appliances and ice-makers”.
ANEC does not only pay attention to the safety of domestic appliances, but also to environmental aspects, like the performance of household appliances and energy labelling. This work is closely coordinated with the ANEC Environment Working Group.
The Gas Appliances Directive does not take into account installation and maintenance of an appliance. There is a need to take this into account, as there are safety concerns due to faulty installation and maintenance. The ANEC Domestic Appliances Working Group works closely together with the ANEC Services Working Group to introduce these aspects in the Directive, which is currently under revision.
Compliance and market surveillance are also important, because the best legislation or standard is of no use if not properly enforced. ANEC therefore monitors and participates as stakeholder in European market surveillance actions related to domestic appliances.