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  5. Safety Standards - Background

Safety Standards - Background

Laws and regulations demand securing the safety of users from dangers such as electric shock and fire lying around household appliances and other consumer electric equipment or devices.

Major industrial countries across the world already have their own safety standards such as those under control of "The Electrical Appliance and Material Control Law" in Japan, UL in U.S.A., CSA in Canada, VDE in Germany, SEMKO in North Europe and BS in GB, and the relays for use in consumer products such as household devices, automatic vending machines and business equipment are required to comply with each country's safety standard.

The following information describes safety standards for relays as regulated by several industrialized countries. For specific information on Fujitsu Components relays, click here.

Japan

As to the "Electrical Appliance and Material Control Law", the relay as an appliance is not included in either category of class-A and class-B electrical appliances of this Law so that the type approval by the Law does not apply to the relay itself. The Law, however, applies to each assembly with a relay as a component part so that the relay must be equipped with as high a level of technology as meeting the technical level specified in that Law.

The major items to be evaluated by the Law are as follows:

  1. Temperatures of contact and coil
  2. Dielectric strength between conductors
  3. Insulation resistance between conductors
  4. Insulating distance between conductors (space distance and creeping distance)

USA and Canada

In U.S.A., consumer products must conform to UL (Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc.) standards so that the relays intended for rule in U.S.A. are required to acquire the approval of UL. The type of relay authorized by UL is announced publicly for convenience of users.

For evaluation of technical level, besides the test items specified in the above mentioned Law, there are standards for material test, electric endurance test and overload test. In UL standards, test conditions are different among categories. The TV rating is a good example. It was established in 1970, making an event of TV fire an occasion. This TV rating is a very severe one, demanding for the outside materials to have both the self extinguishing and arc-proof properties and for the electric endurance test and overload test to use a huge inrush current as a test load, where an inrush current is specified for each rated current. The products approved after the testing based on the TV rating are permitted to carry a mark of TV-5 and a display of approved current level.

CSA (Canadian Standards Association) is given by a Canadian law the authority of establishment of standards and qualification of products. The products intended for export to Canada are required to be approved by CSA and carry the mark of "CSA". The technical level demanded by CSA is almost the same as that by UL. The CSA TV rating has been enforced since 1971.

The UL and CSA TV rating has a system of approval ranking. The rank of each type of Fujitsu Components relay is shown in the following table.

TV Rating Recognized Relay Type

TV Rating TV-3 TV-5 TV-8 TV-10 TV-15
Relay type FTR-F1
FTR-F4
FBR-620
FTR-F2
FBR-610
VS FTR-K1 VF

Germany

In Germany, VDE (Verband Deutschen Elektrotechniker e.v.) has the authority concerning safety. German safety standards are rated high world-wide. In Germany it is established by a law that the products approved by VDE can receive immunity from responsibility even if they are a cause of an electric shock or fire accident. Other countries' standards are also similar to the above ones in character.