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  #1  
Old 08 January 2010, 03:56 AM
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Squishy0405 Squishy0405 is offline
 
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Flame Fluorescent bulb catches fire

Hi Everyone
We, the Baker family, would just like to share with you something that happened on the night of Nov.27,2009 in our home. A florensent bulb caught flame in our bathroom. the story goes.........Alana and I were in the bathroom while she was brushing her teeth. Alana said"mommy, I smell smoke" I said "don't be silly get those teeth brushed" she said "no mommy I smell smoke and as she said this she pointed to the light fixture in our bathroom. By this time there was a flame coming out of the fixture about 3-4 inches high. I immediately sent Alana for her dad whom was in the basement while I shut out the light and ran for the kitchen for a oven mitt to get the bulb out before our house went up in smoke. Approx. a minute passed in this time and was able to get the bulb out of the socket with minimal damage only to the light fixture but the smell of the burning plastic is still in our bathroom over a month later. ( have the bathroom window open a crack continuously for airing). We had just replaced all of our light bulbs with these floresent bulbs and needless to say we took them all out the night of the incident. I then took the bulb a few days later to the fire department and told them the story and a investigation is ongoing. Apparently this has happened to other people!!!! Why is this not reported? The name of the company whom made the bulbs is a reputable one"NOMA" the same company that makes our christmas lights for our homes. It makes us shudder at the thought of if this had of happened when we were not home!!! We all leave lights on so that there is light when we get home in darkness.........

As you are all our friends,family and associates please think twice about using these floresent bulbs in your homes as we would not like to hear that someone lost thier home due to theses bulbs which could of easily happened to us on that night(Nov. 27th 2009) had we not been home! I have sent along a couple of pictures so that you can see the damage.........

Take Care..
the Bakers
K,F & A

http://yfrog.com/jqbulb1j
http://yfrog.com/0vbulb2j

*first names edited to just initials. Had to put links b/c pictures didn't show during preview.
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  #2  
Old 11 January 2010, 04:05 PM
Richard
 
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As an electrical engineer and a trained fire investigator, this does not surprise me. But it is not a characteristic of compact fluorescent lamps, just one lamp that has failed. I have also seen incandescent lamp holders catch fire. Also, incandescent lamps are much more likely to be a source of ignition as they operate at a much higher temperature.
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  #3  
Old 11 January 2010, 07:47 PM
KirkMcD KirkMcD is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squishy0405 View Post
which could of easily happened to us on that night(Nov. 27th 2009) had we not been home!
Had you not been home the light probably would have been off.

I don't know if the CF's have them, but it is usually the Ballast that causes problems in the bigger flourescent bulbs.
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  #4  
Old 11 January 2010, 08:01 PM
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izanami izanami is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkMcD View Post
Had you not been home the light probably would have been off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squishy0405 View Post
when we were not home!!! We all leave lights on so that there is light when we get home in darkness.........

(10 characters)
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  #5  
Old 11 January 2010, 11:16 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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I have had several burn out like that after over the years. The older ones (+10 years ago) could be really bad and scary the ballast died. Had one that actually kept smoking a then started to produce flames. It flames went out when I turn the light off and no real damage happen. The newer have popped, flashed and smoked a little but that has been the worst of it and a couple have look like the pictures afterward. They usually do this right after turning on the light.
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  #6  
Old 12 January 2010, 12:26 AM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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That is the ballast that burned out in the original photo.
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  #7  
Old 12 January 2010, 03:41 AM
Broken Sword Broken Sword is offline
 
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This happened to me too. We were having a problem with the light and I was doing something stupid, trying to figure out why it kept going out. Suddenly flames shot out the top when my face was just a few inches away. A little scary, though I think the chance of serious damage occurring was light. It's not like it's an especially hot or long-lasting flame, and people should know not to have flammables sitting next to light bulbs anyway.
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  #8  
Old 12 January 2010, 06:15 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Well, use certified light fixtures and make sure you have a ground fault interrupter and you should be a lot safer.

What I'm scared of is those ceiling mounted recessed halogen lights. A lot of people do their own amateur installations, and don't use proper heat insulation or proper cabling. That's a fire hazard.
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  #9  
Old 12 January 2010, 09:37 AM
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Floater Floater is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squishy0405 View Post
We all leave lights on so that there is light when we get home in darkness.........
I have no idea about the housing standards where you live, but over here there are generally light switches close to the doors you use to enter a house or a room.
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  #10  
Old 12 January 2010, 12:27 PM
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franjava franjava is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
I have no idea about the housing standards where you live, but over here there are generally light switches close to the doors you use to enter a house or a room.
Oh, but this was the bathroom light so they could just run in and take a wee as soon as they got home without worrying about teh darkness!!1! I mean, have you never seen Psycho?
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  #11  
Old 12 January 2010, 01:46 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
I have no idea about the housing standards where you live, but over here there are generally light switches close to the doors you use to enter a house or a room.
Well, I have one right inside the door, but I still leave some lights on because it makes the house look nicer, and hopefully keeps some burglars away. A blacked out house looks so abandoned, but leave some lights on and it looks nice and cozy.
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  #12  
Old 15 January 2010, 01:50 PM
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TrishDaDish TrishDaDish is offline
 
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Maybe they could become pyros like my brother & SIL, they leave unattended candles burning all over the house at night as Holly is afraid of the dark and OMG what if she has to wee in the night? (She apparently has a mind bypass at night and fogets what light switches are.) When they were with us, they lit candles in their room at night and we left little children nite lites on in the kitchen and bathroom. Not that that didn't make us shudder, knowing those idiots left candles unattended in their room while they slept. (((SHUDDER)))
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  #13  
Old 15 January 2010, 01:58 PM
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Floater Floater is offline
 
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What organ do some people use instead of their brains?
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  #14  
Old 15 January 2010, 02:04 PM
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Latiam Latiam is offline
 
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I actually knew this to be a possibility, having heard it on CBC. It's not a big concern, however, and as the lights are becoming more common the producers are working on ways to minimize both the occurrence and the effects. If it happens, just turn off the light and remove it shortly afterward, replacing it with a new one. I'm more concerned with the question of proper disposal as I had heard some types of the energy efficient light bulbs contain mercury.
Any time one starts using a technology in new ways unexpected side effects are likely to happen. But this isn't one - people know about this.
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  #15  
Old 29 April 2010, 06:42 PM
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Flame

Comment: Below 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 today 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 not in any of those. It
was a normal light socket.

I bought these at Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart. I will be removing all the
Globe bulbs from my house. I have not decided yet if we are going back
to incandescent bulbs at this point.

Just thought you should know.

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  #16  
Old 30 April 2010, 07:01 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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There's been some discussion about these lights recently in Sweden, and apparently, they are quite prone to fire (by that, I don't mean that most of them will burn, but enough to be a problem). As I've understood it, what happens is that then they start to wear out, the igniter (direct translation from Swedish, I have no idea what the English word is) fails to ignite the tube, so it keeps trying and eventually overheat. That's pretty much what we see in the photo above.

I use a few of these low energy lights for special purposes (there are lights that shut down automatically when it's light, which makes them useful for outside illumination), but for the rest of my needs, I've bought a stockpile of about 500 light bulbs before the ban. They are safer and much, much cheaper, especially since the power in my town is a bit crappy and gives any lights an average life span of maybe 3-6 months. We have two large industries (one of them consuming 4% of the total Swedish power production), causing what should be a nice 50Hz sine wave to look like a tangled coil of barbed wire, and that quickly wears down lights. When my stockpile runs out, I intend to import another stockpile from some less backwards country.
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  #17  
Old 30 April 2010, 04:46 PM
niner niner is offline
 
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Almost any electrical device can burn, given the right fault.

Just as a note of precaution, long-tube flourescent fixtures that aren't marked for direct-contact mounting should not be directly mounted against a wooden ceiling:



This fire was attributed to a burned-out ballast in a standard 8-foot fixture.

Henry

Last edited by niner; 30 April 2010 at 04:52 PM.
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  #18  
Old 30 April 2010, 05:00 PM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
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yep, ballasts are the most prone to failure in fluorescent tube lights. even the CFL lights suffer the same problem. the ballast is a complex beast, and the igniter (as good a word as any) is required to start the bulb, and continual power keeps it lit. once it's on it's good, its when it takes a while to turn on that is a problem. I'm wondering how many of the fires were outdoors... I don't have CFLs or Fluorescents outside, because the cold temperatures make it harder to start the bulb. and that causes undue wear and tear on the ballast. and would cause some of those problems.

you say there's a ban in Sweden on CFLs? does the ban go to regular tube type fluorescents (as seen in every single office building here) as well?
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  #19  
Old 30 April 2010, 06:25 PM
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Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
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I read Troberg's post as there being a ban on incandescent light bulbs, which he prefers hence he bought a shedload just before the ban came in. He mentioned CFL's in that he does use a few in limited applications.
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  #20  
Old 03 May 2010, 06:46 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
I read Troberg's post as there being a ban on incandescent light bulbs, which he prefers hence he bought a shedload just before the ban came in. He mentioned CFL's in that he does use a few in limited applications.
Correct. Some monkey-brained politicians under pressure from the green lobby banned light bulbs here.
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