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Standards Spotlight

Views of Real-World Impact

ANSI shines a spotlight on Standards in action as they support safety, efficiency and well-being in interesting aspects of everyday life.


Standards Keep Socially-Distant Thanksgiving Celebrations Festive


Thanksgiving in the time of a global pandemic is going to look much different than it has in years past. With the CDC strongly advising against large gatherings or travel to visit distant relatives, many traditional Thanksgiving activities have to be set aside this year. But with some creativity and planning, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday.

Sharing a meal with loved ones outside of your household is not recommended for 2020, so many are planning to prepare scaled-back versions of the traditional feast for their own families only. A whole turkey may be too much food for one household – and a lot of work for the chef, to boot. Consider buying just a turkey breast, instead of the whole bird, and save yourself some hassle by preparing it in a slow cooker. In just three or four hours, the main dish will be ready, with drippings ready to be made into gravy. Many standards developed or contributed to by members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) support effective, convenient, and safe slow cookers. One such standard is IEC 60335-2-14, Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety – Part 2-14: Particular requirements for kitchen machines. A standard of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), this document deals with the common hazards presented by appliances encountered by people in and around the home. It was developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. Secretariat duties for TC 61 are performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an ANSI member and audited designator. UL also serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to IEC TC 61, carrying U.S. positions forward to the committee.

For many, the highlight of Thanksgiving is not the food on the table, but the people around it. While bringing everyone together in person is not in the cards this year, scheduling video chats with loved ones can offer some of the same camaraderie in a safe, socially distanced manner. Numerous standards support the technologies that bring video chats to your smart phone, tablet, or computer. They include American National Standards ATIS-0100801.02.1996(R2011), Digital Transport of Video Teleconferencing/Video Telephony Signals – Performance Terms, Definitions and Examples, developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), and IEEE 1857.3-2013, IEEE Standard for System of Advanced Audio and Video Coding, developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer IEEE.

Spending time outdoors may not be part of a typical Thanksgiving celebration, but in a year when everyone is homebound, it’s refreshing to get out of the house – even if it's just to enjoy a drink in your own backyard. Open air time in a cold climate is made much more comfortable with an outdoor heater that provides a warm sitting area. One American National Standard that guides outdoor heaters is ANSI Z83.26-2014/CSA 2.37-2014, Standard for Gas-Fired Outdoor Infrared Patio Heaters. Developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer CSA, this standard applies to patio heaters that use natural gas or propane, and that are suspended overhead, angle mounted overhead, wall mounted, floor mounted, or for tabletop use.

One thing will remain the same for Thanksgiving celebrations this year: TV! Football games, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and post-turkey movie marathons are an annual part of the celebration for many families. As always, standards bring the entertainment to your set, such as ANSI/SCTE 43 2015, Digital Video Systems Characteristics Standard for Cable Television, and many other American National Standards from ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE).

While many traditions are best avoided this Thanksgiving, standards are there to support new ways to celebrate your family, friends, and everything that makes you feel thankful.