A friend of mine just took this photo and shared some interesting info about this specific brand of CFL bulb. CFL stands for “Compact Flourescent Light”.

Here is her story:

Here is a picture of a CFL light bulb from my bathroom. I turned it on the other day and then smelled smoke after a few minutes. Four inch flames were spewing out of 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 Marshall had issued reports about the dangers of these bulbs.

Upon doing some Internet research, it seems that bulbs made by “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, dimmers or in track lighting. Mine was installed in a normal light socket.

I bought these at Wal-Mart. I will be removing all the Globe bulbs from my house. CFL bulbs are a great energy saver but make sure you buy a name brand like Sylvania , Phillips or GE and not the “Globe “ones from China ..

Thanks to Maureen for her story! So keep in mind that CFL bulbs in specific are not bad or dangerous, but this particular brand is. Also, to keep fire risks down, be sure to turn off all lights, outlets and appliances when you are not at home.

Also for energy savings, consider installing timers on bathroom fans, timers on lamps and other lights in the house, and also use programmable thermostats, and schedule your computers to turn off at night. The savings will be noticable, will reduce fire risks, and prolong the life of your computers and fixtures.