Household appliances are electrical appliances intended primarily for household use, but also for commercial use,
such as appliances used in professional kitchens for cooking, appliances for commercial cleaning and commercial washing machines,
spin extractors and tumble driers. Other equipment and appliances in similar fields where there is no CENELEC Technical
Committee, e.g. fence energizers, are also considered as household.
Household appliances are one of the most obvious products standardized by CENELEC for which the application of standards is perceptible in every day life. From the kitchen toaster to the tumble drier, European standards developed for these products ensure a high level of safety to their user, bearing in mind the diversity of the users' profile (youngsters, elderly people, disabled people, etc.).
The standardization work on household appliances is very broad and covers a wide range of activities. The Technical Committee covering this area within CENELEC is TC 61 whose scope is to prepare standards containing safety requirements for electrical appliances intended primarily for household use, but also for appliances for commercial use, such as appliances used in professional kitchens. CENELEC TC 61 actively follows the work of its international counterpart IEC TC 61 in view of keeping as much as possible the European standards aligned to the international ones.
Standardization of household appliances in terms of safety is extremely important in order to guarantee that users can make an adequate use of appliances without being exposed to risks that could cause any harm. Therefore, due to the activity in CENELEC TC 61, testing and certification bodies, consumers, manufacturers and Authorities may use harmonised standards as a common objective reference that establish a high degree of safety, allowing the conformity with European Legislation like Directives on Machinery, Low Voltage, Pressure Equipment, Toys and Explosive Atmospheres.
The safety requirements are continuously improved, due to technological development, to the adaptation of the household appliances standards of the series EN 60335 to European Commission Mandates(example: Mandate M/392 that asks to take into due account the specific needs and approach to household appliances of vulnerable users such as children, older and disabled persons), the continuous improvement in the safety requirements due to the increasing use of sophisticated electronic and software based controls, the alignment with European legislations like the new Machinery Directive, etc.
More than 100 standards cover the safety of household appliances. They include EN 60335 series on safety of household and similar electrical appliances ranking from small insect killers, moving to "white goods" and ending with professional appliances, EN 61770 on the avoidance of backsiphonage and failure of hose-sets of electric appliances connected to the water mains, EN 62115 on the safety of toys, and others. The most important standard in EN 60335 series is EN 60335-1 that establishes general safety requirements and is complemented by the specific EN 60335-2-xxx standards for each type of appliance.
More information on specific topics covered by TC 61:
- National situation regarding plugs and sockets
- Consolidated version of EN 60335-2-27:2010 “Appliances for skin exposure to ultraviolet and infrared radiation”
- EN 60335-2-76:2005/A12:2010 “Electric fence energizer”
Contact point: Jens Erdmann