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Standards Support the Romance on Valentine's Day

Every year, millions of people begin making preparations to celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14 with a spouse, partner, or significant other. For some, marking the holiday requires nothing more than a single rose, a home-cooked meal, and some amorous words; for others, halls are rented, ice sculptures commissioned, and firework displays scheduled. But no matter whether your Valentine's Day is a big celebration or a small one, voluntary consensus standards help make this special day possible.

For many, Valentine's Day just wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a handful of the more than eight billion candy hearts bearing romantic messages that are made every year. But getting your hands on these treats would be impossible without the farms and factories that provide the candy's essential ingredients. A standard developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), NFPA 61-2008, NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities, 2008 Edition, provides safety guidelines for facilities that process, package, store or ship sugar and other agricultural bulk materials. The standard examines ventilation, equipment and construction requirements needed to minimize the risks of dust explosions and fires, helping to maintain safe, effective access to processed sugar and other commodities. NFPA is a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Before heading out for a Valentine's night on the town with your romantic partner, most people will want to make sure that they look attractive and presentable. Two standards, ANSI Z8.1-2006, American National Standard for Commercial Laundry and Drycleaning Equipment and Operations - Safety Requirements, developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA), and NFPA 32-2011, NFPA 32: Standard for Drycleaning Plants, 2011 Edition, provide safety requirements for commercial dry cleaning operations. These standards reduce the risk of fires and other potential dry cleaning safety hazards, allowing you to show up for your date wearing something more formal than that T-shirt you were given for opening a checking account during college. Another standard, UL 1727-2009, Standard for Safety for Commercial Electric Personal Grooming Appliances, sets down safety guidelines for hair curlers, dryers, and other electric appliances. The standard is intended for use by qualified workers in barber shops and beauty salons, reducing the risks involved in your pre-celebration hair appointment. Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an ANSI member and audited designator.

For people who plan to spend the holiday at home, watching a romantic movie, a standard developed by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, can help make sure that you can clearly hear your favorite lines of heartwarming dialogue. The standard, ANSI S1.16-2000 (R2005), American National Standard Method for Measuring the Performance of Noise Discriminating and Noise Canceling Microphones, lists procedures for measuring the performance of noise discriminating and canceling microphones. The standard defines a given microphone's performance through the use of the noise canceling index, a weighted measurement of the microphone's signal-to-noise ratios.

However you decide to mark Valentine's Day this year, voluntary consensus standards make it easier and safer to enjoy the day and share your love.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]