Buy safe, certified Christmas lights—DTI

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As Christmas Season is now felt in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry urged citizens to buy Christmas lights that bear certification marks, either the Philippine Standard mark or Import Commodity Clearance sticker, as proof that the products have undergone the Bureau of Philippines Standards’ certification process to protect homes from fire.

Records from the Bureau of Fire Protection showed that substandard Christmas lights are one of the leading causes of some major fire incidents in the previous Christmas celebrations in the country.

With this, DTI-BPS has released the list of DTI-certified Christmas lights as of 09 November 2022, as Christmas lights are one of the 111 products currently under the DTI-BPS list of products under mandatory certification.

In a radio program, BPS Standards Conformity Division’s OIC-Asst. Chief Engr. Leah Ann Arella explained the difference between the PS mark and the ICC sticker.

She said that the PS License and the authority to use the PS mark are granted to manufacturers after successfully complying with the factory audit and product testing.

Meanwhile, the ICC and the corresponding ICC stickers are issued to importers on a per shipment per Bill of Lading/Airway Bill basis after product inspection and testing.

Further, Engr. Arella said that consumers may verify the authenticity of the ICC stickers they may find on Christmas lights packaging through the ICC Sticker Verification App that may be downloaded via Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Also, DTI-BPS said that for those families that will be reusing Christmas lights from last year, they must carefully inspect the plug and cord of the lighting set for brittle and dented parts as the insulation material made of PVC plastic deteriorates over time.

Also, the DTI unit suggests to citizens dispose of old and damaged Christmas lights, and if stored Christmas lights can still be used but have burnt-out bulbs, replace the burnt bulbs before using.

“Check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the advisable number of connected sets of Christmas lights. If possible, plug each Christmas light set directly into the electrical outlet. Do not overload electrical outlets. Too many plugs in one outlet may overheat the outlet and may start a fire. Do not leave Christmas lights turned on overnight, and do not use nails, thumbtacks, and wire staples when hanging Christmas lights as these may damage its parts and create fire hazards. Use light hangers instead which are available in hardware and home stores,” the DTI unit said.

Regulating ‘parol’

Meanwhile, BPS Director Neil Catajay said that the BPS is already coordinating with the Underwriters Laboratories for possible adoption of their standards for Christmas lanterns or “parol.”

He highlighted that the aim is not to regulate the “parol” products in the country but to help local manufacturers produce globally competitive products and facilitate the export of Filipino-made lanterns to international markets.

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