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Overview of Electrical Safety Testing

Electrical Safety is a crucial requirement for all electronic and electrical devices, considering the safety of its user or any other connected equipment. Safety is evaluated on the basis of various hazards that may occur in a day-to-day activity at the time of using, operating and servicing such electrical devices. 

Electrical Safety Testing is carried out for evaluating the potential risks of any electric shock to the customers when using any such electrical product or appliance. It is an important step in the manufacturing process for ensuring that the Electrical products placed on the market comply with the safety regulations and will not harm any of their users. 

Electrical Safety Testing is also essential as it ensures safe operating standards for any product that uses electricity, either directly or indirectly. The IEC series of technical standards for the safe performance of electrical equipment as published by the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC). 

Electrical and electronic product manufacturers and retailers must sell products that are safe and work properly. To avoid any legal crisis, manufacturers, retailers or suppliers of electrical and electronic products must consider whether they should obtain a third-party certification to scrutinise product samples and screen out significant errors. 

Products that Require Electrical Safety Testing

Categories of key products include the following:

  • Information Technology Equipment 
  • Laboratory Measurement, Control and Testing Equipment 
  • Telecommunication Equipment 
  • Medical Equipment 
  • Audio and Video Equipment 
  • Electrical Machines 
  • LED Lamps and Luminaries 
  • Control gear for LED Modules
  • Consumer, household and Commercial Appliance Equipment
  • Component and Power Supplies 
  • Switchgear testing
  • Electromechanical Relays
  • Control Panel testing
  • Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS)

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Standards for Electrical Safety Testing

List of Standards for Electrical Safety Testing is as follows:

IEC 60950-1/ IS 13252-1 

IT Equipment's Information technology equipment – Safety

 IEC 60065/ IS 616

Audio, video and any other similar electronic apparatus – Safety requirements

IEC 62368-1

Audio or video, information and communication technology equipment - Part 1: Safety requirements

 IEC 60335/ IS 302

Household and any other similar electrical appliances – Safety & various products

 IEC 61010-1

Safety requirements for the electrical equipment for measurement, control, and laboratory use

IEC 60598/ IS 10322

Luminaires (General requirements and tests), Particular requirements of Luminaires & other sub-standards

IEC 61439

Low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies & Power switchgear and control gear assemblies & other sub-standards

IEC 62040-1

Uninterruptible power systems (UPS) - Part 1: Safety requirements

 IEC 62477-1

Safety requirements for the power electronic converter systems and equipment

 IEC 60204

Safety of machinery - Electrical equipment of machines

IEC 61058-1

Switches for appliances

IEC 62109

Safety of power converters for the use in photovoltaic power systems & other sub-standards

IEC 61347/ IS 15885

Safety of lamp control gear 

IEC 61558-1

Safety of transformers, reactors, power supply units and combinations thereof

IEC 61810-1

Electromechanical elementary relays

Benefits of Electrical Safety Testing 

Following are the benefits of safety testing for electrical products:

  • Verification that the products are conforming to National and International Standards
  • Allowing to market of such electrical products across multiple markets worldwide
  • Providing peace of mind to the manufacturers, importers and retailers 
  • Validates the quality of products

Necessary Papers required for Electrical Safety Testing 

Necessary Papers required for conducting the Electrical Safety testing are as follows:

  • Identification of testing groups, such as hospitals, any independent service organisation, manufacturer, etc.
  • Name of person/persons performing the testing and evaluations
  • Identification of equipment/system and accessories tested
  • Concluding evaluation
  • Tests measurements 
  • Date, type and results of the visual inspection, measuring methods and measuring equipment, and functional testing
  • Date with the signature of the individual who performed the evaluation

Necessary Papers required for conducting the Electrical Safety testing at the time of preparation of specification sheets of all the critical components are as follows:

  • Components certificate and COA
  • Engineering specifications
  • Engineering drawings
  • Test certifications and reports of components
  • Test report for power supplies 
  • Label material

Procedure for Electrical Safety Testing 

Following are the relevant steps to be followed while conducting Electrical Safety Testing:

  • Determining the products containing electrical energy or the accessory of electrical device and checking the applicability of the IEC Standard's scope of such device. 
  • When the IEC Standard is applicable, then determining the harmonised set standard.
  • After determining the set standard, determine the class of the device and applicable standards. 
  • Preparation of isolation diagram based on means of protection and the specification sheets of the critical components. Necessary Papers are arranged for the critical components.  
  • Identifying the risks based on the essential performance in both normal and faulty states. Simplifying the risks identified and tested for safety in Lab as per the IEC Standards.
  • The sample selected for the safety testing must be the final product and meet the standard's requirements. Along with this, a test plan must be prepared from the Lab, and all applicable and non-applicable tests must be part of the plan as per the IEC standards. 
  • Reviewing all symbols, safety signs, switches and units of measure, user and service manual. Checking of all labelling requirements within the collateral and standards. 
  • As per the essential requirements specific to the products/devices, the test reports are reviewed for the applicability of each clause of the particular and collateral IEC standards.
  • Checking the regulatory status of the testing laboratory. After that, test reports are prepared. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The hazards that are considered to be associated with such electrical products are as follow:

  • Mechanical hazards 
  • Electrical hazards
  • Thermal hazards
  • Noise hazards
  • Radiation hazards 
  • Material or substance hazards 
  • Ergonomic hazards

Tools that are basically used for Electrical Safety testing are as follows:

  • Non-contact voltage testers
  • Electrical testers 
  • Digital Multi-meter
  • Insulation tester
  • RCD tester
  • Loop tester

The International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) provide standards globally with the World Trade Organisation.

Evaluation of a product for electrical safety testing includes the following kinds of tests:

  • High voltage rest
  • Leakage current test 
  • Insulation resistance test 
  • Ground continuity test 

As per the IEC Systems of Conformity Assessment Scheme for the Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE), this IECEE Scheme is an international system for the mutual acceptance of the test reports and certificates related to the safety of the electrical and electronic components, products and equipment.

The Impact test (IK Test) ensures that the sample can withstand an impact with a determined force.

The performing verification of an insulation tester consists of the followings:

  • Voltage output verification
  • Resistance measurement 
  • Current supplied by the tester

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