WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new safety rule for seasonal and decorative lights allows the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to remove hazardous products from the market more effectively, but does not require manufacturers to do additional testing or paperwork.
The CPSC unanimously approved (5-0) and published this new final safety rule.
Seasonal and decorative lighting products include lighted decorations, such as stars, wreaths, electric candles without shades, light sculptures, blow-molded (plastic) figures and animated figures incorporating lights.
Under the new rule, if these products lack any of three readily observable characteristics described in the UL 588 voluntary standard─minimum wire size, sufficient strain relief, or overcurrent protection─CPSC will deem the products to present a substantial product hazard to consumers.
The new rule streamlines CPSC’s ability to stop shipments of nonconforming decorative lights at U.S. ports of entry and secure recalls for hazardous lights that have been sold.
Seasonal and decorative lighting products have been responsible for hundreds of fire- and shock-related deaths and injuries over the years.
CPSC is aware of 132 fatal incidents that occurred from 1980 through 2014 which led to 258 deaths, and 1,405 nonfatal incidents associated with seasonal and decorative lighting products.