With bright holiday lights, gifts, and decor on display in homes and businesses across America, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) takes a close look at some of the voluntary consensus standards that support a safe and picturesque holiday season.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, consumers in the United States purchased 27.4 million farm-grown Christmas trees in 2016. The association reports that many factors influence the total tree purchases, including harvest conditions, weather, the number of consumers traveling for the holidays, number of retail outlets offering trees for sale, and even the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
As a way to assure the safety of natural trees, ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, released ASTM E3082-17, Standard Test Methods for Determining the Effectiveness of Fire Retardant Treatments for Natural Christmas Trees. The fire-test-response standard provides a two-step testing process for determining the effectiveness of surface applied treatments for natural Christmas trees to improve fire test response.
Additionally, the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, publishes the A300 series of standards guiding tree care operations and maintenance-from planting to pruning to risk assessment.
Many elaborate holiday light displays are created with electrical lights, just one way to add a creative touch to illuminate trees and window frames. Consumers can rely on UL 588 (Ed. 18), Standard for Safety for Seasonal and Holiday Decorative Products, to support the safe design and manufacturing of these products, to assure that the lights pose no significant threat of fire. UL is an ANSI member and audited designator.
As gifts start accumulating on doorsteps, in closets, and around household displays, safety should be essential for the youngest recipients. The ISO 8124 series of standards on toy safety, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 181, helps keep these fun gifts safe for children of all ages. ANSI is the U.S. member body to ISO, and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group Administrator to TC 181.
Finally, getting cozy by the fire should be a safe experience for all. An ANS developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA 211, Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances, reduces fire hazards by ensuring the safe removal of flue gases, the proper installation of solid-fuel-burning appliances, and the correct construction and installation of chimneys, fireplaces, and venting systems.
ANSI wishes its stakeholders, members, and the entire standardization community a happy and safe holiday season!