Fieldbreeze CFLs extreme safety hazard
Report of a "Fieldbreeze"
CFL sold in dollar stores
& made in China, that is NOT CSA or UL
safety rated & can cause a fire.
Always look for the CSA or UL rating before buying electrical devices.
My wife turned on the recessed ceiling fixtures last night and heard a "pop".
At that time, the c/b blew but one of the lights appeared to be partially illuminated.
Upon closer examination, the melted (plastic) base
of the bulb had "pooled"
in the bottom of the fixture and was burning steadily. I examined the remnants,
as soon as the fire was out and the failed bulb was cool. It was a Fieldbreeze
30 Watt unit. I know now that there would be a heating problem with this wattage
in an enclosed fixture but it was not used much and it failed on turn-on, not
hot. One of the 6.8 mF/250 Volt capacitors seems
to have "destructed",
the cover was partially blown off. The plastic base
is not only NOT flame retardant
but NOT self extinguishing either. This would seem to be a very bad state of
affairs for bulbs used un-attended. It doesn't matter how much energy you save
if your house burns down. I will be switching to conservatively sized incandescent
bulbs. They are much safer. As a 30 year avionics engineer, I am astounded at
the lack of design constraints for safety.
A simple fuse may have avoided the problem. Why not an internal shield to protect
the plastic? Why not better plastic? I don't think the Fieldbreeze design is
safe. I am not sure if any of the other brands are much better.
Follow up comments with pictures:
You may notice the power wires (now toasted)
appear to be twisted around each other. You will see what I mean when you see
the photo of the "good" one.
You will notice one of the capacitors nearly blew
its case off.
What you don't see is the case is puddled and stuck
to the glass.
The plastic mess was burning when I opened the fixture and had to be extinguished.
You can imagine what would happen if it was situated where the burning plastic
could drip onto carpets, drapes, furniture etc...
This failure mode is completely unacceptable. It could be made "fail-safe"
1. Use of non-flammable (or at least flame resistant) plastic. 2. Use of protective
devices including a current fuse and over-temp fuse. 3. Positive anti-rotation
key to allow installation without the possibility of the case turning internally
and twisting the main power wires.
These bulbs are apparently not built to ANY standard of safety. Direct connection
to mains voltage without any internal protection as well as use of flammable
materials, is a recipe for disaster.
Jim Gibson of Pennsylvania.
I just experienced a shock. While working on my computer I heard a sizzle like
water on a hot skillet. I looked up and thought the bulb was just burning out.
Suddenly one of the Fieldbreeze bulbs blew up and scattered hot fragments all
over. It burned a couple of little spots in the linoleum. It sounded just like
a gun shot. My husband unscrewed the bulb and found that it had blown the curly
glass things nearly free of the "insides" and were hanging by a thread
but none of the glass was broken. BOY, you try to save a little money on electricity.
Pat Johnson of Canada
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