Candle fires have dropped to their lowest level in over a decade thanks to the contribution of ASTM International standards that better educate consumers and facilitate safer product design and performance. In a recently issued home candle fires study, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that candle fires have dropped by nearly 50 percent between 2001 and 2010 – from a peak of 18,900 at the start of the decade to a low of approximately 9,600 fires 10 years later. While no candle fires are acceptable, this new data reflects a positive trend. Helping propel the dramatic decline in accidental candle fires are the portfolio of safety standards developed by ASTM International Subcommittee F15.45 on Candle Products, which is part of ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products.
Current best practices in the design, performance, labeling and instructions for infant slings are included in a new standard developed by ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products. ASTM F2907, Consumer Safety Specification for Sling Carriers, will provide manufacturers with the means to double-check that they are creating and selling the safest possible sling carriers.
ASTM F2951, Consumer Safety Specification for Baby Monitors, was developed in response to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that seven deaths resulted from infants strangling in monitor cords when the cord was placed too close to a crib. Per the new standard, all monitor cords must be labeled with a strangulation hazard warning label to remind caregivers to mount the cord more than three feet away from the crib. According to members of Subcommittee F15.68 on Baby Monitors, audio, video and motion monitor manufacturers, as well as retailers and consumers, will all benefit from the new standard.
ASTM International and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) signed an Agreement on Standards, promoting coordination between the two organizations as they work in the common interests of highway construction, safety, maintenance and sustainability. The document is an outgrowth of the ongoing relationship between the two organizations and serves as a future basis for continued mutual cooperation on the development and publication of standards related to highway construction.
Subcommittee F15.61, part of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products, developed ASTM F2729, Consumer Safety Specification for Constant Air Inflatable Play Devices for Home Use. In addition to detailed general requirements, the new standard covers areas such as calibration, marking/labeling and instructional literature for various types of constant air play devices intended for use at home by children ages 2-12. Users of the new standard will include manufacturers of constant air inflatables, retailers that sell such products and testing laboratories.
ASTM International Subcommittee E10.01 on Radiation Processing: Dosimetry and Applications, was reorganized as Committee E61 on Radiation Processing. Irradiating products dates back to the 1950s when the process was first used to sterilize medical devices. Irradiation is still used for this purpose, as well as to destroy pathogens in food and enhance the performance and appearance of materials such as polymer-based products, gemstones, automotive parts, inks used for printing and more. The new main committee will revise and maintain the existing E10.01 standards and will develop new standards that cover the entire irradiation process, from dosimetry selection to the analysis of routine processing results.
ASTM International was again one of the co-sponsors of Building Safety Month, presented by the International Code Council in May. Building Safety Month is an annual public awareness campaign initiated to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create and maintain safe and sustainable structures. The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of building codes; an efficient system of code enforcement; and a well-trained, professional work force to maintain the system of standards and code updates and revisions.
“In neighborhoods and workplaces across America, professionals throughout government and industry work to implement building safety solutions that strengthen resilience and meet community needs. By designing and implementing state-of-the-art building safety, energy efficiency, and fire prevention codes and standards, they help save lives and prevent disruptions in the wake of disasters.”