Safety for the little ones
Babies fall asleep faster when they can suck on a soother. However, the consequences could well be fatal if a child were to swallow its dummy. Safety requirements relating to the physical and chemical quality of soothers are dealt with in DIN EN 1400-1 ff. Soothers wishing to conform to this standard must have a shield with at least two holes allowing the baby to continue to breathe in the event of the soother becoming lodged in its mouth.
There are also standards for other items for small children, such as bottles, toys and clothing. According to DIN EN 14682, clothing intended for young children is not permitted to have cords of drawstrings in the hood or throat region, as these could cause injury by becoming caught on play equipment such as slides.
A child’s favourite cuddly toy plays an important part in the first years and has to endure much during the course of its lifetime: it is squeezed and pulled, and it often has to take part in daring stunts to satisfy the child’s curiosity. All this is without consequence for cuddly toys standardized to DIN EN 71-1, however, since these have already passed important tests: their fur is fire-resistant, and the eyes in their heads have undergone precisely defined tensile tests. And even if an eye were to fall off, according to the standard it is guaranteed to be too big to be swallowed.
The design and testing of schoolbags is also dealt with in standards:
DIN 58124 specifies requirements relating to ergonomic and safety aspects ensuring the load on the child’s back is correctly distributed and the schoolbag makes the children easily visible when crossing the road.
Standards also ensure the safety of children riding to school by bike, as DIN EN 14765 deals with safety requirements for children’s bicycles.
From pesto to pasta
In recent years cooking has become a leisure activity, and there is such a wide range of gadgets and special equipment available that absolutely anyone can conjure up a festive meal. All the more so when standards lend a hand in the kitchen.
As well as satisfying requirements and safety regulations in themselves, different products such as kitchen furniture, sinks and electrical appliances must be able to be used together Europe-wide. DIN EN 1116 contains co-ordinating sizes for kitchen furniture and work surfaces, kitchen appliances, sinks and decorative panels.
Pressure cookers are often used to preserve the vitamins in vegetables, as well as for saving time and energy. But when the pressure is on, safety requirements need to be particularly stringent. These are to be found in DIN EN 12778.
Spices of all kinds make food especially flavoursome. General aspects such as their appearance, size, flavour, odour and hygienic condition can be assessed and classified thanks to ISO Standards.
ISO 959-1: Pepper (Piper nigrum L.), whole or ground - Specification - Part 1: Black pepper ISO 6577: Nutmeg, whole or broken, and mace, whole or in pieces (Myristica fragrans Houtt.) – Specification.
A good bottle of wine is the ideal accompaniment to a delicious meal. But how can you recognize the quality of a wine? Wine tasting needs objective equipment and a defined procedure. Both are given in DIN 10960, which specifies the dimensions, material, design, volume and minimum requirements for wine testing glasses.
After the meal it is time to clean your teeth! Everyone knows that the secret of healthy teeth is to avoid sugar and use toothpaste and dental floss. Requirements and test methods relating to physical and chemical properties and the marking and/or labelling of toothpaste are dealt with in DIN EN ISO 11609.
The physical properties of manual toothbrushes are the subject of DIN EN ISO 20126. Among other requirements, these have to be put to the tuft retention test: brushes that pass the test do not lose any tufts when used. The same applies to electric toothbrushes tested to DIN EN ISO 20127.
Oral rinses and sprays alone are not sufficient to clean teeth and dentures, but they do have a positive effect on oral hygiene, especially when their physical and chemical properties conform to DIN EN ISO 16408.
What is the Germans' favourite leisure-time activity in the summer? Correct: having a barbecue! This is another area in which standards ensure safety and success. The space between the bars of a grate must be no more than 20 mm wide, otherwise the sausage may well end up on the charcoal instead of on the plate. A barbecue grill conforming to DIN EN 1860-1 makes the procedure both pleasurable and safe. The standard specifies everything that makes a charcoal grill sturdy and resistant to heat while also providing excellent service in terms of form and material. If your steak sizzles on charcoal to DIN EN 1860-2, you can think yourself lucky since it is certain the fuel contains neither fossile coals and their derivates, nor petroleum, coke, pitch or plastic.
While Dad turns the sausages over, the children can while away the time on the garden swing. To prevent them having a rough landing, swings have to fulfil key criteria relating to stability and design. DIN EN 71-8 deals with the design of children’s swings for domestic use. Swings conforming to this standard are guaranteed neither to fall down nor to have sharp edges or other dangerous features that may result in injury.
If you still do not want to go home though the charcoal embers have long ceased to glow, you can slip into a sleeping bag tested to DIN EN 13537 in a camping tent tested to DIN EN ISO 5912: a fine end to a long day.
Other places we come across standards...
No other material can beat natural fowl feather as the filling for duvets and pillows, and its high quality is maintained by DIN EN 12934 which regulates the marking of duvets, giving information on the types of feathers used and in which proportions. Since September 2006 manufacturers can voluntarily have their filling material checked by DIN CERTCO for conformity, upon which they can assign to their product the mark of distinction known as the Traumpass, or “Dream pass”.
Braille works on the principle of raised dots pressed into the paper from behind in a way that makes it capable of being felt by the fingertips (see DIN 32976). Various applications have been standardized to help the blind and the visually impaired in their everyday life. DIN 55561 specifies requirements relating to the use of braille on packaging.
Whether crackers, spinners or sparklers: Whatever the type of fireworks, it is important the instructions on the packaging are heeded, for if fireworks are manufactured to DIN EN 14035-1ff., they are properly classified, packaged and marked, their manufacture has been monitored, and it has been checked that they function properly.
Roof tiles are exposed to wind and weather, snow and frost, storms, sun and driving rain. Year after year. Besides the stringent requirements on material stability, geometrical specifications are also important, for the dimensions of tiles need to be exact if roofs are to be properly designed and covered. Standards specify the criteria according to which high-quality tiles are to be manufactured, an example being DIN EN 1304 Clay roofing tiles and fittings - Product definitions and specifications.
Car number plates
According to the German Road Traffic Regulations (StVZO), car number plates on vehicles and trailers must be retroreflective. DIN 74069 explains how this and other requirements are to be met in practice and how export number plates are also to satisfy the Regulations on International Road Traffic (VoInt).