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Fowler Associates Labs



Static Fire Stories Articles & Technical Papers Current News

A Safety Message about CFL Bulbs


To the left is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom. I turned it on the other day and then smelled smoke after a few minutes. Four inch flames were spewing out of the side of the ballast like a blow torch! I immediately turned off the lights. But I'm sure it would have caused a fire if I was not right there. Imagine if the kids had left the lights on as usual when they were not in the room.
I took the bulb to the Fire Department to report the incident. The Fireman wasn't at all surprised and said that it was not an uncommon occurrence. Apparently, sometimes when the bulb burns out there is a chance that the ballast can start a fire. He told me that the Fire Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs.
Upon doing some Internet research, it seems that bulbs made by “Globe” in China seem to have the lion’s share of problems. Lots of fires have been blamed on misuse of CFL bulbs, like using them in recessed lighting, pot lights, dimmers or in track lighting. Mine was installed in a normal light socket.
I bought these at Wal-Mart. I will be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house.




Other Interesting Articles on the Subject:

Blaze underscores need for CFL bulb education
Seven ways to get the most from your CFL
: basic 'do's and don'ts' for the safe use of CFLs
CFL downsides: recognizing the fire hazards

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