AFNOR is a European standards
organization similar to ASTM or ANSI in the U.S.. In 2003, AFNOR was tasked
to develop a rigorous new certification process for pool alarms. This new standard
was precipitated by the French government who passed a law that required every pool
owner to install one of the approved safety devices (pool alarm, fences, pool cover).
In 2004 AFNOR issued its official standard for swimming pool alarms (NF P90-307)
which immediately became the toughest standard in the world.
For a pool alarm system to be officially certified to this standard, it must pass
a battery of tests as well as provide specific functions. The most difficult
part of the certification is passing the detection tests (using 2 types of simulators)
under varying conditions including a wind tunnel above the pool as seen in the photo
to the right.
The difficult tests are conducted in very windy conditions (created by the wind
tunnel) during which the pool alarm is not allowed to false alarm.
Additional requirements for the certification are structural integrity (unit has
to withstand a person weighing 175lbs standing on it) as well as environmental integrity
where the system must be water proof, handle extreme temperatures, absorb vibration
ASTM (American Society for Testing & Materials) is a U.S. non-profit organization
creating technical standards for products, materials, systems, and services.
Child safety is a major focus for the organization and in conjunction with the Consumer
Product Safety Commission they have created standards for such things as baby chairs,
strollers, high chairs, cribs, etc.. Many parents, especially moms, rely on
the ASTM label when buying a product because they know it has been tested to ASTM’s
The ASTM standard for pool alarms (F2208-02) was approved in 2002. It was
created in order to provide a minimum performance standard for pool alarms so that
can make better choices when buying such product.
The ASTM standard for pool alarms requires detection testing with one simulator
in a standard 16’ X 32’ pool. The standard also requires the pool
alarm device refrain from to false alarms during wind simulation; however, the wind
tests required by the ASTM standard are much less difficult that the AFNOR tests
due to the way the wind is simulated.
The ASTM pool alarm standard does not require environmental or structural testing.
CE Certification (or marking) is required to sell product into the European Common
Market and has been adopted in many other countries around the world.
The CE marking requires a battery of tests to insure that the product meets European