New ASTM International Standard Covers Beach Umbrella Safety

ASTM International’s consumer products committee (F15) has developed a standard specification for beach umbrellas and anchor devices.

The new standard (F3681) is overseen by ASTM’s market umbrellas subcommittee (F15.79). According to the subcommittee’s chair, Bill Schermerhorn, the standard is several years in the making and seeks to address known hazards posed by detached beach umbrellas.

"People don't understand the danger of windblown airborne beach umbrellas,” says Ed Quigley, an ASTM consumer member previously injured by an airborne beach umbrella. “An airborne beach umbrella is like a javelin with a sail attached. Everyone needs to know that people have died from these. If a beach umbrella isn't used with an adequate anchor device, then the user risks an incident.”

The specifications within the safety standard establish minimum requirements for safely anchoring all beach umbrellas. Participating engineers from the Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded after extensive testing that a beach umbrella 7.5 feet in diameter must be secured at the bottom pole with 75 pounds of resistance, or must remain secure in winds up to 30 miles per hour. The standard also addresses minimum requirements for larger umbrella sizes.

The development process for this standard has included manufacturers, retailers, and both witnesses and survivors of beach umbrella accidents. The standard’s intended use is by manufacturers, retailers, safety managers, consumers, and more.

“For decades, beach umbrellas have been designed and manufactured without the benefit of scientific testing on how to safely anchor and secure them in the sand,” says Schermerhorn. “The majority of beach umbrellas used today don’t include any anchoring device at all, they are simply stuck or screwed into the sand. This standard will require manufacturers to include a compliant anchoring device or recommend one that will make their product safe. All users of beach umbrellas, including commercial entities, will know through labeling if they are using a compliant and safe product.”

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

Media Inquiries: Gavin O’Reilly, tel +1.610.832.9618;

Committee Contact: Molly Lynyak, tel +1.610.832.9743;

Release #11814


April 11, 2024