ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Cool Down: Standards Help Beat Summer Heat

New York, Aug 02, 2007

With the hazy days of summer in full swing and temperatures rising with the mercury, many families will be taking to the water this season for some cool relief and summer fun. Whether at the beach or plummeting down your favorite water slide, voluntary consensus standards help to make summertime fun safer for all.

Water Parks
Every summer, more than seventy million visitors flock to water parks across North America. To ensure safe thrills, water park builders and owners can look to ASTM International’s F2376-06, which guides the classification, design, manufacture, construction, and operation of water slide systems.

This comprehensive practice covers all major parts and components, including the flume, water-circulation system, structural supports, vehicles and aquatic accessories, as well as means of access and egress. The practice does not apply to water slides installed in private residences, rides where contact with water is merely incidental, or lazy river type attractions operating at constant elevation. ASTM F2376-06 is maintained by the F24 committee on amusement rides and devices, whose standards are referenced in the regulatory laws of at least thirty-five states.

Recreational Boating
If fun and relaxation on open waters is more your style, standards from the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) help for smooth sailing. ABYC has been developing and updating safety standards for boat building and repair for more than fifty years.

For recreational boating, ABYC’s standards cover everything from inflatable boats to kayaks and more. First published in 1973, H-28, Inflatable Boats (2001), serves as a guide for load capacity, powering, and materials for inflatable boats, including rigid boats less than twenty-six feet in length that are capable of being mechanically powered. H-29, Canoes and Kayaks, can be used to determine the load and powering capacities, as well as the flotation properties, of canoes and kayaks.

ABYC is currently hammering out a revision to its standard for mini jet boats, ABYC H-37. When complete, BSR/ABYC H-37-200x, Jet Boats - Light Weight, will provide updated guidance on the design, construction, and maintenance of inboard jet-propelled boats less than twenty feet in length.

Scuba Diving
Vacationers seeking SCUBA adventures under the sea need to be trained and certified before diving into the ocean’s depths.

A three-part standard published this year by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) lends a helping hand. ISO 24801:2007, Recreational diving services - Safety related minimum requirements for the training of recreational scuba divers, covers contractual training and certification for recreational scuba diving, and details conditions under which training is to be provided. The standard specifies the competencies that a scuba diver must achieve in order to be awarded certification as a level 1 -- "Supervised diver," level 2-- "Autonomous diver," and level 3-- "Dive leader."

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