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Standards Keep Kids Safe and Happy as They Head Back to School


Having a functioning, effective communications system is an another important tool for school staff, allowing them to quickly inform students and faculty members about emergencies, as well as other less-worrisome topics, such as school assemblies, bake sales, and upcoming sporting events. A standard from ANSI member and accredited standards developer the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) covers the installation, performance, and maintenance of school communications systems and their related components. NEMA SB 40-2010, Communications Systems for Life Safety in Schools, sets down minimum required performance levels for these systems and defines the required reliability for the different types of these systems.

While many students bring their lunches from home, food prepared in school cafeterias is a regular part of the school day for students across the country. A standard developed by NSF International, an ANSI member and audited designator, helps keep these cafeterias running by providing guidance related to common cooking and food preparation tools. NSF/ANSI 8-2012, Commercial powered food preparation equipment, includes guidelines for the use of pasta makers, vegetable peelers, mixers, and other useful devices.

For many kids, their time at school doesn't end when the bell rings: extracurricular clubs, activities, and sports provide fun ways to fill an afternoon. For students on school wrestling teams, ASTM F1081-09, Standard Specification for Competition Wrestling Mats, provides requirements for most types of high school and college competition wrestling mats. The standard, which was developed by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, does not include felt-core mats enclosed in sewn covers and does not attempt to address all safety concerns related to the use of wrestling mats.

While not every student will cheer the arrival of a new school year (particularly those who still aren't done with their summer reading), they can nonetheless take comfort in the fact that voluntary standards are there to help make the schools they attend safer and more effective.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]