As the Fire Marshal for San Saba County ever so often I run across something that I think is very important to our citizens, and this is something I want to pass on to everyone. When I went to check my e-mail the other day, this was in my mail box:
"Below is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom. I turned it on the other day and smelled smoke. Four inch flames were spewing out 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 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 Marshal had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs. Upon doing some Internet research, it seems the bulbs made the '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, dimmer and track lighting. Mine was not one of those, it was a normal light socket.
I bought these at Wal-Mart. I will be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house. Not too sure about what I'm going to replace them with, but they will be replaced."
Al Hamrick/Fire Marshal
City of San Saba