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International electrical relay safety standards & information

Electrical relay safety standards

Safety standards protect users from electrical shock and fire hazards caused by electrical equipment. They establish minimum safety standards required for electrical equipment and components. Each country has its own national safety standards according to voltages, weather conditions and safety approaches. Using safety-approved relays in equipment will exempt manufacturers from taking the relay test at the time of the application for the standard approval of the equipment.

Worldwide Electrical Safety Standards & Certifying Organizations

Worldwide Safety Standards and Certifying Organizations

Major electrical relay safety requirements

Safety standards National standards Country General outline Certifying organizations Certified safety markings
IEC - International Develops technical standards for electronic and electrical goods based on the latest scientific technology. Provides the framework for all the national standards. - IEC
UL ANSI standards USA The standards differ by state, county and city in US for safety of fire hazards to sell electronic and electrical goods. Electrical parts also need approval. UL, RU UL RU
CSA CSA standards Canada Applies the North American safety standards and focuses on safety for fire hazards similar to UL standards (USA). CSA CSA
VDE EN/IEC standards Europe/International Focuses on protection against electrical shock and fire hazards but does not impose legal responsibilities.
However, severe penalties are applied hence considered mandatory.
CCC, CQC Chinese national standards
GB standards
China Items are specified to meet the standards and require approval (compulsory certification).
If not approved, selling in or importing to China is prohibited.
  • Regarding the Chinese GB standard, CQC applies to relays individually.
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International Safety Standards

International Safety Standards
Country Standard Level
  IEC Standards International Level
  EN Standards Reginal Level
Germany VDE Standards National Level
UK BSI Standards National Level
USA ANSI Standards National Level
Canada CSA Standards National Level
China GB Standards National Level
Japan JIS Standards National Level
  UL Standards Industry Level

Basic electrical relay safety requirements

North American Electrical Relay Safety Standards
North American standards are for safety of flammability, ignition performance, and temperature rise of insulating materials used in electrical equipment and parts to prevent fire hazards caused by electrical equipment.
Major safety standards: UL (USA) and CSA (Canada).
European Electrical Relay Safety Standards
European standards cover requirements for insulation distance and tracking resistance (*) in electrical equipment and parts to prevent electrical shock accidents. Major safety standards: EN/IEC (Europe/International)

*Tracking resistance is the degree of loss of the insulation properties by the formation of a conducting path (carbon path) across the insulator surface between electrodes having a potential difference.
Area Voltage Hazards Essential requirements
North America 120 / 240 Vac Fire Flammability
Europe 230 / 400 Vac Electric shock Insutation distance