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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Low Wattage Light Bulb: "Blew Up Like A Bomb"

A compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) is to blame for an accidental electrical fire in Hornell Wednesday morning, said Steuben County Fire Investigator Joe Gerych.

“Those are the lights everybody’s been telling us to use,” he said. “It blew up like a bomb. It spattered all over.”

A CFL on the ceiling burst, said Gerych, and gas inside the CFL bulb helped start the fire. He added exploding CFLs are rare. More...


dale said...

I find this story hard to believe given these bulbs are filled with an inert gas.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen the instructions on how to dispose of these bulbs if the break? You should read them and then pray you don't break one. You can also be fined for not disposing of them "properly". Gettin' real interesting in this safety conscience world we're trying to live in.

Anonymous said...

Actually - they are filled with mercury vaopr. if the bulb was of poor quality (cheap) or had been dropped but not broken, it can operate until the gas leaks out and the phosphorous coating ignites.(Ka-Boom!) - CFLs contain many of the same toxic chemicals that you might find in an old CRT, and as we know - if you smack a CRT (old TV tube) hard enough it can and will explode violently, showers of sparks (burning phosphorous) can ignite anything combustible nearby. that stuff burns hot. (think: phosphorous bombs as used in wartime)

burned out CFL's are hazardous waste, BTW, since they contaian toxic mercury vapor - they should not be thrown out in the trash, but disposed of at a recycling facility.

Anonymous said...

We have had one of these wonderful bulbs turn brown near the base and very hot, like it was smoldering. Thankfully we noticed it and removed it before it could cause a major problem.

It makes me wonder how great they really are.

Anonymous said...

They are filled with mercury and an inert gas.
The electricity vaporizes the mercury forming an arc. CRT wOere vacuum tubes. They failed violently sometimes because of the incoming pressure. CFL are slightly pressurized. As stated the gas could not burn nor the mercury.

Anonymous said...

It went Da Boom!!! Handle with Care!! Says so on the box!!