SOURCE: TUV Rheinland

TUV Rheinland

December 07, 2015 22:00 ET

TUV Rheinland Advises on Safety Standards for Christmas Light Chains and Decorations

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Dec 7, 2015) - Christmas is just around the corner. Many people will set up Christmas trees in their office or apartment to enhance the festival atmosphere. While light chains and decorations are indispensable for lightning up the Christmas trees, consumers need to be cautious of the quality of their Christmas light chains and decorations. TUV Rheinland the world's leading provider of inspection, testing and certification services announces some safety standards on the purchase.

According to the data provided by RAPEX (Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products) as of November 2015, the safety hazard of Christmas light chains is mainly due to electric leakage which leads to electric shocks and high-temperature ignitions. It is reported that China is the major country of origin with over 80% of notifications while others are unknown. In terms of Christmas decorations, RAPEX notifications reports states that the problems are chemical risks, choking and fire hazards.

The quality of decoration light chains in the market varies. Some of them lack mechanical strength and this leads to the exposure of live parts, hence, increases the risk of electric shock. Such products fail to meet the requirement of EU Low Voltage Directive and EU standard EN60598. Other key problems relate to electric wiring. If the insulating plastic materials are insufficient or is not tightly connected to the controller, electric shocks or high-temperature ignitions may occur.

Defective Christmas decorations relates mostly to oil lamps. Young children may drink the lamp oil and as a results of this action causes injuries to the child's lung. The oil lamps fail to meet the requirement of EN 14059 Decorative Oil Lamps - Safety Requirements and Test Methods and the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations. Some Christmas decorations may contain many small parts that fall off easily, and their appearance, color and size make them look like food. When eaten by children, they may cause asphyxia. These products don't conform to EU's Directive 87/357/EEC on food imitating products and may endanger the health and safety of young children.

TUV Rheinland's experts perform safety tests for the light chains according to EU's EN60598-2-20 and the test items include electric power, mechanical structure, temperature-related safety, packaging, safety indicator, and so on. The light chains passing all tests above can be sold in EU regions. TUV Rheinland find that the temperature of defective decoration light chains can rise over 100°C, and can even get close to 250°C. In such high temperature, the insulation of wire will melt resulting in live part of conductor in wire be exposed to the air.

TUV Rheinland has some tips for customers when purchasing decoration light chains:

1. The name and address of the manufacturer must be printed on the package
2. Choose decoration lights with CE/GS certification mark because they have been tested by independent institutions
3. Use only decoration lights with certified transformers (according to IEC/ EN61558-2-6, IEC/ EN61347-1 and related standard) since the transformers can reduce the risk of 220V high voltage output
4. To keep decoration light chain away from combustibles, such as straw braided decorations.
5. LED Christmas decoration lights can significantly reduce power consumption and has a longer service life.

It is suggested that LED decorations is a safer options and this product has already become a new trend. LED decorations transformers can reduce the risky 230V voltage to 12-24V only. This completely eliminates the risk of electric shock. Besides, when encountered with lamp source breakdown, LED decoration lights experience a smaller temperature rise as compared to that of traditional decoration light chains. Besides, LED light chains also reduce 90% of energy consumption when compared to energy consumption of traditional light chains. This new technology lifts the burden off the environment and cost of usage.

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About TUV Rheinland
An internationally renowned independent third-party testing, inspection and certification organization, TÜV Rheinland possesses over 140 years of experience, has service locations in 69 countries on 5 continents, employs over 19,300 people worldwide, and provides professional service support to clients around the world. TÜV Rheinland employs approximately 3,600 people in the Greater China region, offering testing and certification services such as industrial and renewable energy services, electrical and electronic product testing, telecom testing, fast-moving consumer products testing, ergonomics evaluation, mobility, railway safety, food safety, green solutions, carbon service, training & consulting and management system. TÜV Rheinland has long been synonymous with rigorous high-quality testing and certification services and for providing a variety of professional assessments from an impartial and independent perspective. We provide local companies with quality services and solutions that comply with safety, quality, and environmental-friendly requirements. www.tuv.com

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