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Halogen Lamp Hazards
Safety Instruction Number:58
Last Update:Tue, 09/04/2007
The U.S. Product Safety Commission (USPSC) has reported that halogen lamps have been linked to at least 100 fires and 10 deaths. The Underwriters Laboratories has toughened standards for the UL seal of approval for halogen lamps.
The most popular model is the 6 to 7 foot high torch style lamp. It is reported that U.S. consumers own 35 to 40 million of these types of lamps. EH&S inspectors have noted these lamps in many buildings on campus during annual safety inspections.
The surface temperature of bulbs in these type of lamps can approach 1,000 degrees F. The USPSC has received reports of halogen bulbs overheating and exploding. In one case a lamp fell over catching a sofa on fire. In other reported incidents drapes have caught on fire due to close proximity to lamps.
In order to reduce the risk of using these lamps EH&S recommends the following:
- Do not place a lamp in a high traffic area where it could be tipped over.Do NOT place a lamp in a position where combustible materials are in close proximity (less than 24 inches) to the dome; combustible materials include drapes, blinds, plants, posters, etc.Check dome of lamp on a regular basis; the design of the dome is a collector for dust, paper, small toys, leaves, etc. Any items collected in the dome will be in contact with the bulb and may result in a fire.
- Do not leave the lamp on for prolonged periods of time (more than 4 or 5 hours).