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Ethanol powered appliances: the French approach to improve their safety
  1. F Weil,
  2. Y Peter*
  1. Correspondence General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), Bureau E2 59, Boulevard Vincent Auriol PARIS, 75703 CEDEX 13, France

Abstract

Ethanol powered appliances (EPA) are usually marketed in a rather up-market position. In France, these products were marketed at low prices from the beginning, and the number of sales grew rapidly, whereas the safety of these devices was a concern. Accordingly, the DGCCRF (French national market surveillance authority) gave an impetus in 2006–2007 for the professionals to have their appliances certified, and to start a Standardisation Committee within the AFNOR. Several events an accident, a study from the Consumer Safety Commission (CSC) highlighting EPA as hazardous as regards burn, fire and intoxication hazards, and media campaign – made the DGCCRF quicken the pace of its actions in order to improve their safety:

The professionals were reminded in the Economy Ministry Recommendation published in the French Republic Official Journal (November 2008) that their products had to meet the general safety requirement;

A survey was launched in order to have a comprehensive overview of operators and their products, and analyse the safety level of each appliance.

It was decided to create a Select Committee within the AFNOR Standardisation Committee composed with the DGCCRF, CSC, LNE (national laboratory of conformance-testing) and other Administrations (Health, Housing, Fire Safety). As a result, the French standard NF D 35–386 (Ethanol-fired appliances Safety requirements and test methods), whose specificity is to integrate fail-safe devices, has been published in August 2009. France is now willing to promote this standard internationally. This is an example of the French approach bringing stakeholders together for a common goal.

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