140 Hendrix Hall, SUNY at
Fredonia, Fredonia, NY,14063, Telephone: (716) 673-3796 / Fax: (716)
UPDATE: 03/02/07 - Underwriter Laboratories issued notice today stating that these lamps are a fire hazard and recommends that consumers immediately stop using them.
Many students in our residence halls have a 5-light multi-colored floor lamp in their rooms. These lamps can be found at Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and other common chain stores. They have become quite common because they are not only inexpensive (less than $20) but also very attractive. In two separate student rooms, the plastic shades melted on the lamps. In one room, this caused the build-up of toxic fumes and the melted plastic from the shade burned a hole in the bedspread. The second instance involved another student who had turned on the lamp and, within 15 minutes, the shade melted and the heat began to turn a poster on the wall brown. Again - a very close call. As a result of this incident, room to room inspections were done in the residence halls where three additional lamps were found with melted shades. Different models were found defective but all shared the common plastic shade although some required Type A 60 watt bulbs and other required Type B 25 watt bulbs. Damaged shades were found in lamps using both sizes of bulbs but note that residence life staff determined that the proper watt bulbs were being used in each case and according to manufacturers directions.
The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control is investigating this issue as well as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision for "possible product hazards" and to determine if a recall is necessary.
We are advising all lamps of this nature be removed from student rooms and other areas on our campus.
If you have any first hand knowledge of a problem you have experienced with this lamp, please call EH&S at 673-3796.
Marne Smith, Director