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Safety Test on Electric Fans - CHOICE # 418

  • 2011.08.15

The latest results on the safety of electric fans showed that most of the samples tested have not provided sufficient insulation or protection against electric shock. Only one sample passed all test items.

The latest issue of CHOICE Magazine reports the results of the safety test on electric fans, which were conducted by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. Twelve 12-inch to 16-inch fans were sampled, which included 2 table fans, 4 table /pedestal fans, and 6 pedestal fans, with prices ranging from HK$189 to HK$988.

The tests, made reference to the international safety standard IEC60335-2-80, covered the aspects of: insulation and protection against electric shock, construction and wiring, material resistance to heat and fire, operating temperature and abnormal operation, stability and mechanical hazards, and marking and instructions.

9 tested samples were found to have insufficient spacing between the insulated windings and the enclosure or core of the motor, which lead to unsatisfactory insulation or protection against electric shock.

Electric fans may operate continuously for long hours. The plastic materials should have adequate resistance to heat and fire. Two tested sample failed in the heat resistance test, and one of which was found also to have room for improvement in resistance to fire along with another sample.

Regarding the safe use of electric fans, the latest issue of CHOICE Magazine reminds consumers to take note of the following:

For placement and use:

  • Place an operating electric fan on a hard and leveled surface, and make sure that it will not easily topple.
  • Allow sufficient space for the fan's free movement and heat dissipation.
  • Do not put the electric fan in a place which has splashing water such as in the bathroom or near the window, to avoid possible electric shock.
  • Do not put the fan near inflammable materials or loose objects (e.g. curtain or paper), which are easily sucked into the fan.
  • Do not let children put their fingers or other objects into the fan through the fan guard.
  • Do not leave an operating fan unattended.
  • Unplug from the power socket if the fan will not be in use for a long period of time.

For maintenance and cleaning:

  • Clean the electric fan regularly and in accordance with the instructions provided.
  • Clean the fan only after you disconnect the power. Do not let water get inside the fan.
  • Stop using the fan if the fan guard is broken.
  • Check regularly the flexible power cord which connects to the turning head to make sure it is not damaged due to prolonged use. A damaged cord may lead to a short circuit or may expose the live wire.
  • If any abnormality is detected, stop using the fan and arrange for a check up and repair by a qualified electrical technician.

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