Search Icon White
News Cover Image

From Fireworks to Confetti, Standards Assure a Joyous New Year's Celebration

Across the country, Americans celebrated the coming of the New Year at 12 a.m. on Friday, with fireworks, confetti, and the famed Times Square ball drop. As millions cheered, kissed loved ones, and made wishes for the coming year, standards stood by to assure a safe and enjoyable celebration.

Of all the New Year's Eve celebrations worldwide, the Times Square Ball drop in New York City may be the most famous. This year's ball was redesigned to be brighter - yet more energy efficient - than ever. The sphere was adorned with lights provided by Philips Lighting Company, a company member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Over 32, 000 Philips Luxeon LED lights created a dazzling display with a palette of more than 16 million colors. The ball was also 10 to 20 percent more energy efficient than last year's ball, using the same amount of energy per hour that it would take to operate two home ovens.

Many revelers celebrated as the clock struck midnight by watching a fireworks display. The bright colors and loud noises of fireworks create an exciting and beautiful tribute to the start of a new year. Thanks to standards such as those created by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an ANSI member and audited designator, professional fireworks shows have guidelines for the safety of workers and attendees. NFPA 1123-2010, Code for Fireworks Displays, provides the latest safety requirements and recommendations from the NFPA for everyone involved with pyrotechnics for outdoor fireworks display, including event and venue managers, enforcing officials, insurance professionals, and display operators.

A simpler but equally festive way to mark the New Year is throwing confetti. Streamers of colored paper tossed into the air at midnight are soon after collected by local sanitation departments. From equipment that hoists waste receptacles to recycling collection vehicles, many of the machines used in sanitation efforts like the one on New Year's Day are addressed in American National Standards (ANS). ANSI Z245.1-2008, Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials - Mobile Wastes and Recyclable Materials Collection, Transportation, and Compaction Equipment - Safety Requirements, one such ANS, was developed by the Environmental Industry Association (EIA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

With these standards in place, the first moments of 2010 were a time of celebration and joy for many Americans across the country. The American National Standards Institute would like to wish all of its members and colleagues a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]