Elektrischer Kurzschluss Ein elektrischer Fehler, der zur elektrischen Leitung führt.
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2022-06-13 press release

Report dangerous incidents involving electricity to VDE

VDE collects reports of any incidents involving electricity. Private individuals can submit reports using an online form with particular focus on plug-in power supplies.

Press Officer
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(Frankfurt, June 13, 2022) An electrical device malfunctions and catches fire – dangerous incidents like this at home are not analyzed in detail, which makes it impossible to evaluate the causes and background. Only electrical accidents that end in fatalities or take place at work are systematically recorded in Germany. If a person dies, the doctor must report the accident with the death certificate. Trade associations are responsible for incidents in commercial environments, but little is known about those occurring elsewhere. VDE now plans to shed light on this blind spot in accident reporting. Consumers can report dangerous incidents involving electricity online at www.vde.com/stromvorfall-melden (form in German).

By collecting this information, VDE hopes to gain additional insights into the hazards associated with the everyday use of electricity. This initiative is aimed at anyone who has ever gotten an electric shock while using an electrical device. Users can also report unsafe electronic devices that are damaged, have produced smoke or have caught fire. VDE is also interested in reports of suspicious devices even if no accident has occurred.

Online form and interviews

Reporting a dangerous incident is simple: affected consumers fill out the online form on the VDE website. They should upload one or more photos of the damaged device. To cover more detailed questions, VDE will then call consumers to conduct a telephone interview based on a standardized questionnaire. The results are then published anonymously on the website. The aim is to look at patterns rather than provide an expert evaluation of each case. Reports can also cover “near misses” involving defective electronic devices that could have caused personal injury or property damage in less favorable circumstances.

Demonstrating accident patterns

Using electric power is already very safe today thanks to VDE standards as well as independent testing bodies such as the VDE Institute that inspect and certify electronic devices. Germany nevertheless sees an average of 36 fatal electrical accidents each year and an unknown number of non-fatal electric shocks. Electronic devices proven to be defective are currently already listed in the European Union’s Safety Gate system (formerly RAPEX), which leads to a mandatory product recall or import ban. This list is not well known, however, and can be circumvented by directly ordering cheap foreign products in online shops.

This current reporting initiative is designed to reveal patterns in accidents involving certain devices such as USB chargers or specific use behavior. Insights from the analyzed reports will flow directly into the development of safety standards and product tests.

About the VDE Institute 

The VDE mark is synonymous with safety and quality in electrical devices, components and systems for more than 100 years. The VDE Institute - a subsidiary of the VDE Group - is a worldwide partner for industry customers, business, government authorities, the electrical trade and consumers. More than 100,000 devices per year are subjected to product, quality and safety tests by the VDE Institutes independent testing engineers before they receive the VDE mark. Around the globe, VDE experts monitor more than 7,000 production facilities. Cooperation agreements with more than 50 countries ensure that the tests performed by the VDE Institute are internationally recognized. 200,000 types of products with millions of model variants bear the VDE mark worldwide. The VDE Testing and Certification Institute GmbH, a non-profit organization, employs more than 500 people in Offenbach am Main.

For more information, visit www.vde.com/institute

About VDE

VDE, one of the largest technology organizations in Europe, has been regarded as a synonym for innovation and technological progress for more than 130 years. VDE is the only organization in the world that combines science, standardization, testing, certification, and application consulting under one umbrella. The VDE mark has been synonymous with the highest safety standards and consumer protection for more than 100 years. 

Our passion is the advancement of technology, the next generation of engineers and technologists, and lifelong learning and career development “on the job”. Within the VDE network more than 2,000 employees at over 60 locations worldwide, more than 100,000 honorary experts, and around 1,500 companies are dedicated to ensuring a future worth living: networked, digital, electrical.  
Shaping the e-dialistic future. 

The VDE (VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies) is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. For more information, visit www.vde.com