Reese's Law mandates critical safety standards for button and coin batteries in diving devices, marking a significant shift in consumer product safety.
In 2022, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was tasked with developing safety standards for button and coin batteries, ensuring their safety in packaging and when incorporated into household devices.
The resulting legislation, driven by the tragic death of 18-month-old Reese Hamsmith due to the ingestion of a button battery, mandates comprehensive safety standards for devices using button and coin batteries, including those prevalent in diving equipment.
Impact on the Diving Industry
Diving products, notably dive computers, often utilise user-replaceable button-sized or coin-sized batteries. Reese's Law will significantly influence the design, manufacture, and retail of these products, including those imported into the U.S. The industry is poised for a transformation to comply with the new safety standards, reflecting a broader commitment to consumer safety and child protection.
Mandatory Safety Standards
In September 2023, the CPSC adopted ANSI/UL 4200A-2023 as the mandatory standard for products incorporating button or coin batteries. This standard introduces rigorous requirements, including secured battery compartments, warning labels on packaging and products, and comprehensive instructions in manuals to prevent accidental ingestion by children.
Recognising the challenges in meeting these requirements, the CPSC has provided a timeline for compliance, with the new standards applying to products manufactured or imported after March 19, 2024. Notably, zinc-air button cell or coin batteries are exempt from the scope of these regulations.