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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: From Fire Safety to Medical Equipment Sterilization

New York, Sep 27, 2002

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, ANSI Online News 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 Safety

From October 6 to October 12, 2002, America will observe the 80th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week (FPW). Officially sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, the 2002 FPW is themed "Team Up for Fire Safety," and encourages fire departments to team-up with community partners in order to spread the message that fire safety saves lives. The campaign focuses on safety lessons for everyone: installing and testing smoke alarms listed by a qualified testing laboratory, practicing home escape plans, and hunting for home hazards. With the assistance of fire safety advocates throughout the United States and Canada, NFPA hopes to make that team effort a reality, to ensure that families are more prepared than ever to prevent or survive a home fire.

In addition to preparing for Fire Prevention Week, NFPA has recently revised several of its fire prevention and safety standards. ANSI/NFPA 72-2002, Protective Signaling Systems, addresses the application installation, performance and maintenance of protective signaling systems, such as the home fire detectors called for in the "Team Up" plan, and their components. Similarly, ANSI/NFPA 170-2002, Fire Safety Symbols, provides a tool for visually alerting occupants of a building during fire emergencies, as well as for alerting fire fighters during fires. Other updated standards include those addressing portable fire extinguishers, the installation of sprinkler systems and community emergency planning. For more information on fire prevention and safety, visit NFPA online.

Medical Equipment Sterilization

The sterilization of equipment is of the utmost importance in preventing infection during medical procedures. In order to ensure that patients get the safest care possible, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, is dedicated to keeping medical professionals up to date with the latest sterilization techniques, and is a primary resource for the industry and government for national and international standards in medical instrumentation and technology. To this end, AAMI has released two new documents pertaining to the sterilization of medical instruments.

AAMI TIR29:2002, Guide for process control in radiation sterilization, addresses the radiation dose delivered to equipment when gamma and electron beam radiation are used for sterilization. In addition, ANSI/AAMI ST72:2002, Bacterial endotoxins - Test methodologies, routine monitoring and alternatives to batch testing, addresses the process of testing equipment for bacteria, which can be used to ensure the effectiveness of a sterilization technique. AAMI will be packaging these documents and four other new documents in its latest edition of Sterilization, Part 3: Industrial Process Control, which is a collection of documents that guide the sterile processing and shipping of medical products.

This "standards snapshot" was made possible by the steady stream of press information disseminated by standards developing organizations to keep the ANSI Federation abreast of their achievements. As the Institute receives news of published voluntary standards and voluntary standards initiatives with broad appeal and impact, similar articles will be posted to the ANSI Online News page. Please continue to forward your updates to the Communications and Public Relations department at (f) 212.398.0023 or (e) For additional information on the wide array of standards applications, see the Media Tips and Case Studies section of the Institute's website.

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