June 10, 2019
Modern baby monitors have progressed well beyond their corded predecessors with enhanced features such as Wi-Fi, video and long-distance portability. While advancements in battery technology make these innovations a reality, they also carry new safety risks. Field safety incidents reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) include instances of baby monitor batteries overheating, leading to risk of fire, potential injury and property damage. Reducing these risks is critical to protect consumer safety. To help address these concerns, ASTM Subcommittee 15.69 developed and accepted a new edition of ASTM F2951-18 that includes requirements for battery powered baby-monitors in sub-clause 5.7:
- 5.7 Battery powered baby monitors shall comply with the requirements in Annex M, Equipment containing batteries and their protection circuits, ANSI/UL 62368-1, Audio/video, information and communication technology equipment – Part 1: Safety requirements.
- NOTE 1—Complete baby monitor systems that comply with ANSI/UL 62368-1 are considered to comply with this requirement.
The rationale for the new requirements is included in the associated informative Appendix X stating: X1.3 Added a requirement for battery safety to reduce the risk of battery related incidents. CPSC incident data includes baby monitor batteries overheating, leading to risk of fire and potential for injury or property damage, or both. Therefore, to demonstrate due diligence and comply with the latest voluntary U.S. safety requirements for battery-powered baby monitors, manufacturers and brand owners of baby monitors should consider either:
- (a) full certification (UL Listing) of the battery-powered baby monitor system to ANSI/UL 62368-1 Ed. 2, which already includes an ASTM F2951 reference per Regulatory Annex DVA; or
- (b) investigation of the battery-powered baby monitors portable unit to determine compliance with Annex M of ANSI/UL 62368-1. (Note: Annex M includes both component cell/battery requirements and system testing.)
Unless directly referenced in federal regulations or similar laws, standards like ANSI/UL 62368-1 are currently considered voluntary standards and are not mandatory. However, certifying to the voluntary standard helps baby monitor manufacturers protect consumer safety, increase trust in their brands and demonstrate due diligence and compliance. Contact us and learn how UL can help you increase confidence in the safety of baby monitors.