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Regulators to set maximum heat of electrical blankets

October 21st, 1993
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Myth: EC rules are responsible for regulating the maximum heat of electric blankets, making the lot of pensioners a miserable and cold one.
Source:  East Anglian Daily Times, letter (21 October 1993)

Response: Although there is EC legislation of a very general nature concerning the safety of domestic electrical equipment, and though there are upper limits on the the maximum surface temperatures for specific types of blanket, the standards set are sufficient to keep any bed wann. If a manufacturer wishes to set his own standard well below that set by the Community then that is his own decision.

Background: The safety of electrical equipment has been covered by Community legislation since 1973 (Directive 73/23/EEC). This Directive only lays down general safety objectives of mandatory nature, and refers amongst others, to the concrete application to harmonised European standards drafted by CENELEC. Therefore, specific limits (on temperatures for example) are only contained in the standards, not in the Directive itself.

Heating blankets are covered by harmonised standard EN 60967 (concerning the safety of electrically heated blankets, pads and similar flexible heating appliances for household use) which was introduced in 1990. This standard sets maximum surface temperatures of 60 to 70C, depending on the type of blanket, with the intention of providing a sufficient level of safety to the user. Of course safety standards do not contain minimal levels, as no risk arises from this aspect. This enters into qualitative aspects that are not a subject of Community legislation.

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