Electrical and functional safety tests

Why test electrical and functional safety?

Both electrical safety and functional safety (FuSi) are centrally concerned with protecting people and the environment. Both tests are aimed at checking electrical and electronic systems and devices and their safety. With the increasing number of these systems and devices in the private and public sector, tests examine their safety for the user according to defined criteria. Examples of such systems include smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, train doors that close automatically and remain closed throughout the journey, or airbags in cars that deploy immediately in the event of a collision.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) ensures the safety of systems and devices in international standards. The standards refer to many products, product types or even entire industries. But standards such as EN ISO 12100 as a guideline for the manufacture of safe machines, VDE standards for electrical installation or testing for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) also play a role in equipment and system safety.

Prüfung elektrischer Sicherheit

In the tests for electrical safety and function, equipment and systems are tested for the following criteria, for example:

  • Accessibility to live parts
  • Construction
  • Fire test on materials
  • ageing due to alternating current cycles
  • Short-circuit and power failure testing
  • Protection against ingress of solids and liquids (IP ratings)
  • Resistance to heat and fire

Construction and function must be designed so that application errors or technical faults minimise the risk of injury or danger to persons (e.g. electric shock) and the environment (e.g. fire in the event of a short circuit). Numerous systems today are already designed so that technical failures are either automatically prevented or controlled. Responsible for this is electronic, electrical or programmable safety-related systems (E/E/PE), which are the subject of the IEC 61508 standard. The four safety integrity levels (SIL) define the reliability of the safety function of E/E/PE systems.

Electrical safety testing

Electrical safety testing primarily involves examining the equipment that functions electrically for the potential risk of electric shock. Such a shock can be caused by a poor design of the product, by insufficient or missing maintenance, or improper use. The consequences of such a malfunction can be fires, injuries and even explosions. To evaluate the product, there are several tests to choose from when testing electrical safety, including, for example A high-voltage test, leakage current test, insulation resistance test, earth continuity test.

Functional safety testing

As part of the overall safety of a device or system, functional safety testing is concerned with the function of the electronics and the associated software. It checks whether the received commands are executed correctly. The test can be used to identify potential hazards or the likelihood of a risk that could lead to an accident, for example, in which a person is injured, or an object is destroyed. Once testing is complete, corrective or preventive action can be taken to avoid accidents. However, no test can guarantee zero risk.

Which products require electrical safety and functional testing?

Electrical and functional safety is necessary for any product or system that operates electrically and electronically. Therefore, corresponding tests are standard in many industries, from household appliances to consumer electronics to electronic components in the automotive sector. Examples:

  • Household appliances, e.g. according to EN 60335-1:2020: Safety of household and similar electrical appliances or EN 62233:2008: Method of measurement of electromagnetic fields of household and similar electrical appliances concerning the safety of persons in electromagnetic fields.
  • Audio and video equipment, e.g. according to EN 62368-1: Equipment for audio/video, information and communication technology
  • Electrical appliances in sanitary areas, e.g. following EN 61770:2019: Electrical appliances for connection to the water supply system - Prevention of back siphonage and hose set failure
  • Door signalling devices, e.g. according to EN 62479:2011: Assessment of compliance of low power electronic and electrical equipment with the basic restrictions for the safety of persons in electromagnetic fields (10 MHz to 300 GHz)
  • Portable radio equipment, e.g. according to EN 62311:2008: Assessment of electrical and electronic equipment about tests and a high-voltage, leakage current, insulation resistance of exposure of persons to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz)

Where can I have electrical safety and function tests carried out?

You can easily order an electrical safety test for all types of electrical and electronic products, equipment and systems from testxchange. As a manufacturer and supplier, you can choose from numerous partner laboratories worldwide in our network that test and certify your electronic devices and components according to FuSi standards or other national and international standards. Our project engineers will be happy to advise you on individual procedures and standards if you do not know exactly which tests are necessary for your product or system.

Need electrical safety and functional testing?

If you need assistance in electrical safety and functional testing, you can contact us directly. If you are interested in other fields of testing, we will be happy to assist you as well.