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Household Appliances

Household appliance standards, developed by multiple standard developing organizations with a particular focus from IEC, look to the safety of appliances that are intended for household or light industrial use and may be handled by consumers, children, or others who may be unskilled. Combining the power involved in many of these appliances and the safety of the user is a complicated issue that feeds strongly into the need for standardization.

Kitchen Machines, Cooking, and Dishwashers

Standards for machines involved in cooking, dishwashing, and other kitchen duties and activities are developed by IEC. The numerous standards address safety concerns and technical requirements in a number of kitchen machines, including, but not limited to, dishwashers, cookers, fryers, blenders, food mixers and processors, and so on. These standards address safety concerns and technical requirements for kitchen machines used in a commercial and household setting. The misuse of kitchen machines can result in various hazards and injuries, including cuts, severe burns, explosions, and etc. These hazards and injuries could lead to the destruction of personal property, casualties, as well as legal disputes.

Spin Extractors and Washing Machines

Washing machine and spin extractor standards define safety guidelines for household and commercial washing, and describe methods for measuring performance and efficiency. These standards serve to establish technical and safety specifications for domestic and commercial use. This selection of standards applies to appliances with single-phase voltages of under 250 volts or 480 volts for other appliances.

Steam Cleaners, Fabric Cleaners, and Electric Irons

Electric irons, steam cleaners, and fabric steamers standards, developed by IEC, address safety and technical specifications. These standards are intended to improve the safety measures involved for both commercial and domestic use. In terms of practicality, standards in this category deal with common hazards, encountered by all persons in and around the home. More specifically, this category does not take into account persons (including children) whose physical, sensory, or mental capabilities; or lack of experience and knowledge prevent them from using the appliance safely without supervision or instruction or children playing with the appliance.

Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers, Water Heaters, and Animals

Standards for humidifiers, dehumidifiers, water heaters, and animal heaters all revolve around electrical appliances used for heating with a rated voltage of no more than 250V single-phase or 480V for other appliances. Although differences exist in their structures and applications, these are all drawn together through their similarities. Safety is incredibly important when designing and manufacturing products that produce large amounts of heat that might be used by or are intended for laymen in shops, farms, light industry, or other such environments.

Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum Cleaner standards are applicable to vacuums used in both wet-vac and dry-vac applications, designed for use in home, light industrial, garden, farm, and other settings. Dealing with appliances with a rated voltage of under 250V single-phase, these standards cover a wide range of vacuuming devices. Developed by IEC, these standards also address vacuum/blower combination devices, and dedicated blowers, such as those for gardens.


Household Appliances intended for lawn care are at once both powerful tools and intended for a widespread consumer user base, making standardization of their specifications an important part of the industry striving for safety. Developed by IEC, these standards deal with lawnmowers, lawn trimmers, lawn scarifiers, and other related lawn equipment. Focusing on appliances with a voltage of under 250V a.c. or 50/75 d.c., these are intended for household use.

Test Methods

Test method standards, developed by IEC, ASTM, and IEEE, define methods of testing performance, equipment, and quality in commercial and domestic products. These standards address the safety principles for refrigerators, other household appliances, and commercial electrical appliances and equipment.

Electromagnetic Compatibility

Electromagnetic Compatibility standards, developed and published by IEC, address the emission of and immunity to radio-frequency disturbances in household appliances. Covering emission frequency ranges of 9Khz to 400Ghz, and rated voltages of not over 250V single phase or 480V for other appliances, these standards cover a very wide range of household appliances. In fact, many of these electronics have a notice written on them that refers to these emissions and immunity that the end-user can see.


Refrigeration standards address both the standard notion of a refrigerator, as well as a range of other related appliances such as ice-makers and frozen food storage. Developed by IEC, household refrigeration appliances rely on standardization due to often being components of other, larger appliances and therefore having to conform in order to be seamlessly integrated.

Dispensing Machines

Dispensing Machine standards, developed by IEC, address safety and technical guidelines for commercial vending machines and related dispensing appliances. Standards for vending machines are greatly varied and depend on the type of vending machines and the products being dispensed. For example, vending machines carrying food are subject to different requirements than those dispensing small consumer electronics.

In 2012, a detailed report released by the Environmental Working Group and the Environmental Law Foundation claimed that “California’s water vending machines failed to meet state standards for chemicals about one third of the time.” According to the reports, the tested machines exceeded state standard for trihalomethanes content, to which an exposure can lead to low birth weight babies and other health problems. The standardization of vending machines is crucial in protecting the safety of consumers.


As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.