Corrective action to improve safety of halogen floor lamps
Vol. 17, No. 1Sept. 4, 1997

Corrective action to improve safety of halogen floor lamps

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the halogen lamp industry are cooperatively recalling for in-home consumer repair some 40 million halogen torchiere floor lamps, a popular item used by students in residence halls and at home.

According to CPSC, the halogen bulbs in these lamps can cause fires, and officials are aware of at least 189 fires and 11 deaths since 1992. The industry is making free wire guards available to consumers through a cooperative effort with many retail stores.

Installing the wire guard over the glass bulb shield will reduce the potential fire hazard by making it harder for flammable materials to touch the lamp's halogen bulb. For the guard to be effective, consumers must use only halogen bulbs of 300 watts or less in the lamp.

Halogen torchiere floor lamps are free-standing lamps with a shallow bowl-shaped light fixture mounted on top of a 6-foot pole and illuminated by a tubular halogen bulb.

The halogen bulbs and can pose a fire risk if curtains, clothing or other flammable materials contact the bulb.

A revised Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard for halogen torchiere floor lamps manufactured after Feb. 5, 1997, offers an improved level of safety. Most halogen torchiere floor lamps meeting the revised UL standard already are equipped with a glass or wire guard.

Consumers who own halogen torchiere floor lamps without a glass or wire guard over the glass bulb shield can receive a free wire guard with installation instructions from the following retail stores: Ames, B.J.'s Wholesale Club, Hechingers/Home Quarters, Home Base, Home Depot, Ikea, Kmart, Lowes, Montgomery Ward, Office Depot, Target and Walmart. Consumers should not return the lamps to the retail stores. If consumers cannot get to a store, they can receive the guard by calling (800) 985-2220.

Ann Brown, CPSC chairperson, offered the following safety tips for halogen torchiere floor lamps: