ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Fire Fighter Qualifications to Healthcare Facility Ventilation

New York, Sep 24, 2008

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will publish, on an ongoing basis, a series of snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Fire Fighter Qualifications
According to U.S. Fire Loss for 2007, a recently released report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 10 trillion dollars worth of property damage was caused by structural fires last year. To ensure that fire fighters are qualified to battle structural blazes, NFPA has published NFPA 1001-2008, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications, updating the 2002 edition of this American National Standard.

NFPA 1001-2008 identifies the minimum job performance requirements for career and volunteer fire fighters who primarily battle structural fires. The updated standard increases the minimum training requirements for fire fighters to obtain NFPA 1001-2008 certification, and also includes the addition of a skills maintenance requirement. NFPA 1001-2008 will help to ensure that persons engaged in fire fighting have the professional qualifications to do so by meeting the requirements of the revised standard.

NFPA is an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer with an international scope which provides and advocates for consensus codes and standards, conducts research, and provides training and education to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards.

Healthcare Facility Ventilation
As more and more genetically resistant “super-bugs” are discovered, the need to control airborne pathogens has become increasingly critical. Without high-quality ventilation in health care facilities, patients, health care workers, and visitors could easily become infected just by breathing.

Guidelines to promote high-quality ventilation in health care facilities are detailed in a new standard published by ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Co-written with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2008, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, is the first American National Standard in the nation to specifically address ventilation in health care facilities.

The new standard will aid in protecting patients, visitors and employees across the healthcare industry by providing minimum requirements for ventilation systems designed for comfort in addition to infection and odor control. The document offers guidance, regulations, and mandates to designers of health care facilities, focusing on systems and equipment; planning and construction; and space ventilation for airborne infection isolation rooms, critical care units, burn units, surgery rooms and operating rooms.

ASHRAE is an international membership organization that works to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.

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