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Standards BEHIND 

ANSI takes a look at some of the standards behind the scenes driving the advancement of innovative technologies and ingenious solutions for global challenges.

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Amid Extreme Heat Waves, Standards Provide Some Relief for Summer 2024


Extreme heat waves are sweeping across parts of the country, with record-breaking temperatures reaching the South and Midatlantic. The heat wave reached a peak in mid-June, with nearly 120 million people under heat advisory alerts from the National Weather Service. What’s more, the number of people under such advisories remained above 100 million for at least four days in a row, The New York Times reported.

Only days into summer 2024, the heat waves seem to be a continuation from the 2023 warming trend. Last year, the U.S. experienced the most heat waves since 1936, according to the Associated Press. Long stretches of intense heat are dangerous and can have deadly consequences, as approximately 1,200 people in the U.S. are killed by extreme heat every year.

With much of the country impacted by higher temperatures, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Weather Service have issued a few tips to remind us how to navigate the heat with safety in mind.

Stay out of the heat

  • Avoid going outside and doing strenuous activity during the hottest time of day, and wear loose, light-colored clothing and sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) if you need to be outside.
  • Stay in the shade. Remember that perceived temperatures in the sun can be 10–15 ˚C higher.
  • Spend 2-3 hours during the day in a cool place.
  • Stay informed about official heat warnings.

Standards Help Us Stay Cool

Many standards support air conditioning, including ANSI/AHRI 390-2003Performance Rating Of Single Package Vertical Air-Conditioners And Heat Pumps, which establishes definitions, classifications, test requirements, rating requirements, minimum data requirements for published ratings, operating requirements, marking and nameplate data, and conformance conditions. The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, published the standard.

An American National Standard (ANS) developed by UL Standards & Engagement (ULSE), UL 507-2017, Standard for Safety for Electric Fans, addresses a number of aspects of fan safety, from the proper installation of ceiling fans to specifications for outdoor fans. UL is an ANSI audited designator and member.

To support safety as we cool off in the pool, ASTM F2387-21, Standard Specification for Manufactured Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS) for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs, covers requirements for SVRS for use on both residential and commercial swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and wading pools. It was developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International’s Subcommittee F15.51 on Safety Vacuum Release Systems for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs.

Of course, there are so many ways to keep cool, from ice cream to water parks, with standards that support these (fun) options too. Happy summer from ANSI!

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