Keeping safe in a thunderstorm
We have all learned from an early age what we have to do in a thunderstorm. When outdoors, keep away from trees, tall objects, metal and water; try to find shelter in a building; spread out if in a group. When driving, stop at the side of the road or on a motorway’s hard shoulder, stay in the car and avoid touching metal. While indoors, stay away from windows, stop using phones and electrical equipment and unplug appliances and computers.
Telephones, modems, computers and other electronic devices can be damaged by lightning, as harmful overcurrent can reach them through the phone jack, Ethernet cable, or electricity outlet. Close strikes can also generate EMPs (electromagnetic pulses). All electronic devices are highly susceptible to these electromagnetic effects.
As the market in electronic goods has increased rapidly and steadily over the past 30 years, so the need for protective measures against such effects has grown.
Lightning protection standardized
In 1979, the IEC established TC (Technical Committee) 81: Lightning protection, to prepare International Standards and guides for lightning protection for structures and buildings as well as for persons, installations, and contents in or on them.
TC 81 has provided other IEC TCs with guidance on the protective measures to be taken against electromagnetic effects produced by lightning.
EMC tested and certified by IECEE
As part of its CB (Certification Body) Scheme, IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components), has put in place the mechanisms to ensure, through assessment, testing and surveillance, that products conform to the specified requirements of the appropriate EMC standards. The service provides testing and certification in compliance with IEC International Standards prepared, among others, by IEC TC 77: Electromagnetic compatibility, and CISPR: International special committee on radio interference.
The main features of the IECEE EMC compliance services as provide by the CB Scheme and the CB FCS include, as appropriate:
- Third-party testing and certification for products based on IEC International Standards
- Testing of products by internationally approved laboratories
- Regular surveillance of quality systems and products through factory inspection to ensure that quality products comply with the relevant IEC International Standards•
Using the IECEE EMC programme and obtaining IECEE certificate of compliance offers multiple benefits for manufacturers. Among them are faster access to market, cost and time saving, a competitive advantage at the national, regional and international level, and ultimately customer confidence that the product purchased meets all safety and reliability requirements.