Electrical fires and fire safety requirements for E&E equipment

In a U.S. statistical overview from NFPA[i] on electrical fires in residential buildings, in 2011, an estimated 47,700 home structure fires were caused by electrical failure or malfunction. They led to 418 fatalities, 1570 injuries and 1.4 billion USD losses.

Between 2007 and 2011, in the USA, electrical distribution or lighting fires accounted for 48% of all home electrical fires. The causes are mainly arcing (65%) and overheating (35%). Fires not related to electrical distribution and lighting were mainly caused by fans, air conditioners and water heaters (14%), dryers or washers (6%), dishwashers (2%), entertainment/office electronics (3%) and refrigerators, freezers, ice makers (2%).

Fires starting in IT, audio/video, appliances, and similar electrical/electronic (E&E) devices are less common than those from electrical distribution or lighting. One of the reasons may be that appropriate fire safety requirements, ignition and flammability tests are required to reduce the fire hazard of E&E equipment from ignition sources such as open flames and glowing wires. The main flammability tests requested for E&E equipment in the USA, Europe and Asia are the Bunsen burner based UL 94 tests with a 50 W flame (IEC 60695-11-10) for UL 94 classes V0, V1, V2, and the more severe 500 W flame tests (IEC 60695-11-20) for UL 94 classes 5VA and 5VB; in addition, the needle flame test to IEC 60695-11-5 is used. For appliances, the glow wire tests IEC/EN 60695-2-11 to -13 are rather required in Europe and Asia.




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Quelle: Clariant                                                                                        Quelle: Rondoplast SE