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Standards Bring Safety and Comfort to College Dorms


It's that time of year when many young adults leave home for the first time, moving their belongings into a college dorm and beginning their undergraduate career. While parents may have some qualms about seeing their children fly the coop, standards are in place to assure that dorm life is safe and secure.

Away from the comforts of mom and dad's cooking, college students have to be prepared to meet their own nutritional and gastronomic needs. While the dining hall may provide three square meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, having kitchen appliances in the dorm room is convenient for late-night study snacks and quick meals on the fly. Many college students choose to have a mini refrigerator in their room for just these reasons. AHAM HRF-1-2016, Energy and Internal Volume of Refrigerating Appliances, provides guidelines that simplify shopping for a dorm refrigerator, or any refrigerating appliance including freezers and wine chillers. The document establishes a standard procedure for measuring product characteristics of these appliances, making it easier to compare and evaluate them. It was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Most students take their food preparation abilities one step further by bringing a microwave into their dorm room as well. An international standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) assures that the safety of these appliances. IEC 60335-2-25 Ed. 6.2 b:2015, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-25: Particular requirements for microwave ovens, including combination microwave ovens, was developed by IEC's Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, Subcommittee (SC) 61B, Safety of microwave appliances for household and commercial use. The U.S. holds the secretariat for this TC, with UL designated by ANSI as administrative secretariat and Randi Myers of UL as secretary. UL is also the ANSI-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator for TC 61.

For many, moving away from home also means moving away from having mom or dad take care of the dirty laundry. Dormitory laundry rooms may be a change of pace, but fortunately standards help assure that clothes will get cleaned without getting ruined. ANSI Z8.1-2016, American National Standard for Commercial Laundry Equipment and Operations - Safety Requirements, guides the safety design and safe operation of equipment and some systems used in commercial and institutional laundries. This American National standard was developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA).

The beginning of freshman year may be as difficult for parents as it is for new college students, but fortunately standards can assure that these young adults are safe, comfortable, and well-fed as they begin the next chapter in their lives.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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