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Low Voltage Directive

This guide is intended to serve as an introduction to the main topics surrounding the Low Voltage Directive. It should not be considered as an alternative to obtaining the official European standards.

Fortress interlocks are an original manufacturer of electrical and electronic equipment suitable for a wide range of installations covered by the directive. The Directive covers electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current and between 75 and 1500 V for direct current.

In the European Union, the requirements for the Low Voltage directive are covered by compliance with the essential health & safety requirements (EHSR’s) of the LVD (2006/95/EC) directive. The original Low Voltage Directive was issued in 1973, but was modified in 1993 by directive 93/68/EEC, which included a requirement for CE marking and the creation of a technical file.

Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSR’s) are fairly wide ranging and general requirements with respect to:

1. General conditions

  • The essential characteristics, the recognition and observance of which will ensure that electrical equipment will be used safely and in applications for which it was made, shall be marked on the equipment, or, if this is not possible, on an accompanying notice.
  • The manufacturers or brand name or trademark should be clearly printed on the electrical equipment or, where that is not possible, on the packaging.
  • The electrical equipment, together with its component parts should be made in such a way as to ensure that it can be safely and properly assembled and connected.
  • The electrical equipment should be so designed and manufactured as to ensure that protection against the hazards set out in points 2 and 3 of this Annex is assured providing that the equipment is used in applications for which it was made and is adequately maintained.

2. Protection against hazards arising from electrical equipment

Measures of a technical nature should be prescribed in accordance with point 1, in order to ensure:

  • That persons and domestic animals are adequately protected against danger of physical injury or other harm which might be caused by electrical contact direct or indirect;
  • that temperatures, arcs or radiation which would cause a danger, are not produced;
  • that persons, domestic animals and property are adequately protected against non-electrical dangers caused by the electrical equipment which are revealed by experience;
  • that the insulation must be suitable for foreseeable conditions.

3. Protection against hazards, which may be caused by external influences on the electrical equipment

Technical measures are to be laid down in accordance with point 1, in order to ensure:

  • That the electrical equipment meets the expected mechanical requirements in such a way that persons, domestic animals and property are not endangered;
  • That the electrical equipment shall be resistant to non-mechanical influences in expected environmental conditions, in such a way that persons, domestic animals and property are not endangered;
  • That the electrical equipment shall not endanger persons, domestic animals and property in foreseeable conditions of overload.

European harmonised standards are written with the above EHSR’s in mind , therefore compliance with the relevant standards is presumed to comply with the directive. (Not necessarily the only route to compliance, but the most advised one).

The Low Voltage Directive is based on Article 100a of the EC Treaty of Rome and provides for harmonised requirements and procedures to establish compliance. This is achieved by transposing the directive into local law and more specifically by issuing European harmonised standards.

It is generally known as a "New approach directive" and the intent is to provide free movement of goods within the European Union, based upon common regulatory requirements.

The Low Voltage Directive applies to many Fortress control and interlocking products that utilise electrical or electronic technology.

Our products are 100% routine factory tested in the U.K under our ISO9001 quality system.

In addition, many products carry worldwide approvals by leading independent certification bodies. Download the latest EC certificate from the Fortress website, or contact your local Fortress representative for more details.

Full details of the latest LVD harmonised standards can be found on the European Union’s website: http://ec.europa.eu