Beach umbrellas (BUs) are commonly used as protection against rain, sun, or other potential weather in home, recreation, and commercial business settings. Buyers involved in the selection, use, and maintenance of beach umbrellas, as well as customers of businesses who desire protection of weather, can be exposed to numerous hazards capable of causing harm when an improperly designed, installed, or maintained beach umbrella has contact with the human body. The deleterious effects of a beach umbrella being blown over or broken by wind forces can range from acute injury, such as cuts or bruises, to blunt force trauma, such as concussions or broken bones and even death.
BUs range from 4 ft to over 10 ft in diameter of multiple materials of construction, designs, shapes, base, anchoring devices or stanchions. BUs are often selected based on these factors, but equally important is the ease of transporting it to the beach, ease of setup, ability to remain upright and not become airborne, safety, overall structural integrity of the BU, and durability, how long the beach umbrellas will last in service, allowing the end user to safely carry out his or her assigned work tasks or enjoy the weather protection and comfort of the BU.
No known standards apply to the design and manufacture of beach umbrellas or their anchoring devices. Additionally, BU designs vary depending on different end use applications and settings of use. Consequently, purchasers are faced with a variety of BU products and generally depend on manufacturer sales information to decide which BU is appropriate for their specific application. Base stanchion weights, anchoring devices and methods must also be selected and integrated with the BU to provide an accurate assessment.
This standard is intended to provide standardized methods for evaluating the wind safety and durability of BU using a wind tunnel and rating the performance of the BU on a standardized scale. This standard may also be used by BU manufacturers to assess current or proposed designs.
The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.