Sunday, November 25, 2007

Five-Second Rule Extended to Eight Seconds

ATLANTA (CAP) - Bowing to pressure from advocacy groups and a lobby effort dating back three years, the Weights and Measures Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology has agreed to expand the age-old Five-Second Rule to eight seconds beginning next month.


"With all the pressures we all face on a daily basis, nobody has the time they used to," said Pete Olsen of Focus On The Family, which began lobbying the NIST back in 2004. "Three seconds may not be much, but every little bit helps."


Focus On The Family originally sought a rule expansion to ten seconds, citing the continued increase in the number of single-parent households as the primary factor in their request. "The numbers of cookies and crackers remained the same, while the sets of eyes to respond and react dropped," said Olsen.


However, the NIST countered by offering to increase the limit one second each year from 2008 to 2011, which Focus called "a watered-down attempt to throw red tape at a systemic problem." An arbitrator was brought in last June to help both sides reach an agreement.


After months of arbitration, both sides agreed to concessions as part of the deal to change the timeframe of the rule. Among those concessions:

- The Berber Carpet Clause was expanded to include a ban on households with cats. For households with dogs, the rule still only applies to short-hair breeds.

- Section 4.1.2b regarding gum and gummy bears was also expanded to include children's "fruit snacks." However, the two sides could not reach agreement on Starburst chews and had to reserve judgement for a future time.

- Foyers, sunrooms and entryways were added to a special section of the Approved Rooms List that accounts for appropriate weather conditions. For the drier months of July and August, the Eight-Second Rule will now apply to the floors of these rooms.


The two sides also agreed to meet on a bi-yearly basis going forward to review all the stipulations of the rule to make sure it continues to meet the needs of a busy population.


Originally reported by CAP News

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