Spotlight

Highlighting Building Safety

ASTM Co-Sponsors International Code Council Event

This May, ASTM International is among the sponsors of Building Safety Month, as proclaimed by the International Code Council.

According to the ICC website, “Building Safety Month is a public awareness campaign offered each year to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create and sustain safe and sustainable structures. The campaign reinforces the need for adoption of modern model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional work force to maintain the system.”

The ICC is highlighting a different aspect of building safety each week during May. Here are just a few examples of ASTM International standards that support safety within each week’s category.

Week One: Fire Safety and Awareness

ASTM Committee E05 on Fire Standards has developed more than 60 standards that have become an essential part of fire safety throughout the world. One such standard, E2187, Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes, has been required in national and international legislation as a test method to assess a cigarette’s relative fire safety. More than 300 ASTM standards used in fire safety and testing are included in the ASTM Fire Standards compilation.

In addition to fire standards, ASTM publishes papers containing cutting edge research on fire, 11 of which are compiled in Special Technical Publication 1541, Uncertainty in Fire Standards and What to Do About It.

ASTM also offers fire test-related training courses on such topics as smoldering fire tests for upholstered furniture and bedding. Further information on the scope of E05 and a list of its subcommittees and key documents can be found here.

Week Two: Disaster Safety and Mitigation

Standards that are used to prepare for and respond to disaster have been developed across a range of ASTM International committees, including E54 on Homeland Security, F12 on Security Systems, F32 on Search and Rescue and F30 on Emergency Medical Services.

A compilation of such standards, ASTM Standards for Accident and Disaster Control, was published this year as a CD-ROM that includes 185 standards dealing with topics such as management and operations, decontamination and emergency response. More information about this collection can be found here.

Week Three: Backyard and Pool Safety

Since its inception in 1972, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has worked with ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products to identify needs for consumer safety standards. Among the backyard and pool safety standards to emerge from this collaboration is F2666, Specification for Aboveground Portable Pools for Residential Use, developed by Subcommittee F15.60 on Portable Pools.

Week Four: Energy and Green Building

ASTM is one of the cooperating sponsors of the ICC’s International Green Construction Code, the first model code that includes sustainability measures for an entire construction project and its site. In addition to being an IgCC sponsor, 46 ASTM standards appear in the 2012 edition of the IgCC. These standards were developed by 13 ASTM committees and cover topics ranging from air quality to thermal insulation.

Additional information on Building Safety Month can be found here.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.