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Consumer watchdog finds ‘not safe’ heated vests

Korea Consumer Agency releases safety, warmth test results of 10 heated vests

A Korea Consumer Agency official explains heated vests before a press briefing at the government complex in Sejong on Monday. (Yonhap)
A Korea Consumer Agency official explains heated vests before a press briefing at the government complex in Sejong on Monday. (Yonhap)
Four types of heated vest products were found to fail safety standards due to high surface temperatures, the Korea Consumer Agency said Monday.

Based on a consumer survey, the watchdog selected 10 heated vests, one each from among the top 10 most popular brands, and conducted various tests on the safety, warmth and usability of the products.

As the vests use batteries for the heating element, they have to follow electrical appliance safety standards, which require heated clothing’s surface to have a maximum temperature of 50 degrees Celsius in above 0 C settings.

Four heated vests, made by Nepa, Swiss Military, K2 and Kolping, were found to exceed the maximum temperature. The manufacturers pledged to recall their products, according to the KCA.

The safety standards allow the heated vests, which are made for below 0 C temperatures, to have a maximum surface temperature of 65 C, the watchdog said, so consumers should be aware of the differences to prevent burns.

The KCA also said people should wear other clothing underneath before putting on a heated vest to prevent the skin from coming into direct contact with it.

If there is redness or pigmentation accompanied by itching or blisters, it could be a symptom of low temperature burns. Consumers with similar experiences should immediately stop using the vest and seek medical help, the KCA added.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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