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The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) proposes a rule that would amend the substantial product hazard list to include seasonal and decorative lighting products that lack specific designed safety characteristics.
Under the proposed rule, seasonal and holiday decorative lighting products would be deemed to constitute a substantial product hazard if they lack minimum wire size, sufficient strain relief, or appropriate overcurrent protection. This ruling would subject non-compliant products to recall, and refusal of entry into the United States.
For several decades the CPSC has monitored and categorized hazardous incidents involving seasonal and decorative lighting products. This led to identification of product characteristics that relate to prevention of these hazards.
The characteristics identified include minimum wire size, sufficient strain relief for wiring, and overcurrent protection. Requirements for each of these characteristics are found in UL 588, Standard for Safety, Seasonal and Holiday Decorative Products.
The characteristics of concern are all considered readily observable, and the vast majority of these products are in compliance with a voluntary standard (UL 588). Hence, the proposed regulations are not expected to have significant impacts on industry.
These requirements will take effect thirty days after publication of the final rule, adding non-compliant products of this kind to the Substantial Product Hazard List of the Code of Federal Regulations (16 CFR 1120).
Seasonal and holiday decorative products are defined as portable, plug-connected, temporary use lighting products with a 120 volt input rating.
Under the proposed regulations, sections 6, 7, 15, 71, 79, and SB16 of UL 588 establish the requirements for the necessary characteristics.
Proper wire sizing helps to ensure that no overheating occurs and minimizes the likelihood of physical damage during intended use. The requirements are found in section 6 of UL 588.
Adequate strain relief diminishes undue strain on wires and insulation at points where they enter plugs or lampholders. This helps to prevent damage to the wiring which could lead to overheating or shock hazards. The requirements are found in sections 15, 71, 79 and SB16 of UL 588.
Overcurrent protection prevents excessive current situations, minimizing heating effects. These requirements are found in section 7 of UL 588.
Bureau Veritas evaluates these characteristics as part of our typical test offerings.
Additional information: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-10-16/html/2014-24378.htm
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