7 Ways Standards Help Make Summer Safer



Cicely Enright

When it’s summer in your region of the world, voluntary consensus standards from several ASTM International committees help make the season safer and more enjoyable. Here’s a sampling of some of those standards and how they make a difference.

1) On the Rides

When your fun involves mechanical marvels that lift you toward the sky and swoop around and down, chances are that standards from the committee on amusement rides and devices (F24) are helping to support your safety. Standards from the committee are developed with expertise and insights from independent operators, giants of the amusement industry, consumer advocates, and others. These standards cover design, construction, operation, maintenance, and other areas.  To name just a few, F24 oversees the standard practice for design (F2291); standard practice for quality, manufacture, and construction (F1193); and, ownership and operation (F770) of amusement rides and devices.

2) In the Pool

A backyard pool can provide hours of enjoyment, whether for play or exercise. And the safety specification for residential pool alarms (F2208), when combined with adult supervision, fences, gates, locks, and more, helps reduce accidents. The standard, from the consumer products committee (F15), covers four types of alarms designed to alert you to a young child’s unintentional, unsupervised, or accidental entry into a pool or spa. The four types of alarms are: floating; under the water; on a person; and motion-detecting (positioned at the edge of, or above the water surface). The committee also oversees standards for portable pools (F2666) and safety vacuum release systems (F2387).

FOR YOU: Standards for Amusement Rides and Devices

3) In the Yard

Summertime is often grass-mowing time. And that could involve trips to the gas/petrol station for fuel to make the equipment run. A standard for labeling gasoline, kerosene, and diesel containers for consumer use (F839) details requirements for this purpose, which helps ensure that the correct fuel goes into your mower. The subcommittee on standards for flammable liquid containers (F15.10), part of the consumer products committee (F15), also oversees a standard to help support safety: the specification for determination of child resistance of portable fuel containers for consumer use (F2517).

4) In the Skies

Taking flight in a light sport aircraft (LSA) on a sunny day? Standards from the ASTM International committee on light sport aircraft (F37), cited by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, cover many topics related to these planes and their pilots. For example, a specification for the design and performance of an LSA (F2245) covers airworthiness of a fixed-wing LSA. The standard helps evaluate many parts and instruments as well as performance indicators. In addition, the standard supports pilot operating handbooks. 

READ MORE: Autonomous Flight

5) Sun Protection

No matter what your activity, if you’re spending time in the sun, you need to dress appropriately. A specification for labeling UV-protective textiles (D6603) from the textiles committee (D13) aids in describing the reportable UPF values used to determine your level of protection. The standard contains terminology to be used for the label, and the label information must be based on UV protection data collected by instrumental methods.  

6) For Tents

If summertime means camping time (and even if camping is a year-round enjoyment for you), standards from the committee on sports equipment, playing surfaces, and facilities committee (F08) help ensure the quality of tents. If you’re using a backpacking or mountaineering tent, standards from the camping softgoods subcommittee (F08.22) with standards for their labeling (F2441), headroom measurement (F1935), weighing (F1934), and more, help make them better suited for their purpose. 

7) At the End of the Day

When taking a road trip or driving home from a barbeque, lane striping and markers in road pavement can help us find our way. A subcommittee on retroreflection (E12.10), part of the committee on color and appearance (E12), develops standards related to the markers, including a practice for describing retroreflection (E808). Retroreflection is light reflected back toward the driver’s eyes, and the standard applies to measuring reflectance and its angles. Standards from the subcommittee on highway traffic control materials (D04.08), part of the committee on road and paving materials (D04), also apply. The subcommittee oversees specifications for raised retroreflective markers, plowable and non-plowable (D4280 and D4383), and pavement marking tape (D4505 and D4592).

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