Ithaca Fire Marshall demonstrates fire hazard of halogen lamps and halogen safety
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in partnership with Cornell University announced today "The Great Halogen Trade-In." Rick Gerardi, Program Director of NYSERDA's Residential Energy Affordability Program will be joined by Ithaca Fire Marshall Ray Wheaton who will demonstrate the fire hazards of halogen lamps. Also joining them are Abigail Krich, President of Kyoto Now!, and representatives from other groups involved with the trade-in program at Cornell University's Ho Plaza from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16.
Halogen torchiere floor lamps are a serious fire hazard and have been banned in all Cornell residence halls for years. A few years ago, a sorority in the area had a significant fire caused by one of these lamps, igniting paper that had been hung from it. One in six colleges and universities in the country have had a fire caused by these lamps. However, because these are generally the cheapest and brightest lamps available, many students and community members continue to use them.
The purpose of the "Great Halogen Trade-in" is to raise student and staff awareness of the safety hazards associated with halogen torchieres and to encourage them if they own a halogen to exchange their halogen torchiere for a safer, more energy-efficient, ENERGY STARŪ-labeled compact fluorescent model.
ENERGY STARŪ-labeled torchieres meet stringent safety and reliability guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They operate at a lower temperature than conventional lamps, saving students and the college money and energy, due to their increased efficiency. Halogen fixtures have been known to burn up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit - hot enough to ignite cloth, wood, plastic, or paper in a matter of seconds. By contrast, ENERGY STARŪ-labeled compact fluorescent lamps burn at a much cooler 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
"The Great Halogen Trade-In" program is offering a fluorescent version of the halogen lamp at a discounted price. Throughout the month of October, anyone with valid Cornell identification can bring in a halogen torchiere floor lamp to The Cornell Store or Campus Copy & Supply (Appel Commons) for a 70% discount on a new, safe, and energy-efficient fluorescent torchiere floor lamp. If someone does not have a Cornell identification or a halogen torchiere lamp to trade in, they can still purchase a lamp through this one-time offer for only $29.95 (retail value is $50).
"This initiative is very important for many reasons, but most important is student safety and the benefits of reduced energy costs," said William M. Flynn, President of NYSERDA. "The demonstration today should offer an idea to students of how dangerous these seemingly normal halogen lamps really are. Using a fluorescent torchiere in place of a halogen one is a smart move and a safe one at that. I hope other colleges and universities take similar steps to promote more efficient and safer lighting on their campuses as Cornell has"
"The partnership between Cornell and NYSERDA benefits everyone because it is making the campus safer and more energy efficient. With the halogen light trade-in, the community saves energy and money at the same time without sacrificing the comfort of reading under a bright light," says Hunter Rawlings, president of Cornell.
"It has been exciting for me to see so many people coming together to collaborate on this project," said Abigail Krich, President of Kyoto Now! "The Great Halogen Trade-In" is a collaborative effort of the Kyoto Task Team and NYSERDA. Both organizations strive to reduce energy consumption and thus carbon dioxide emissions."
The task team also received the support of many other groups, such as Cornell Campus Life and the Cornell Grounds Department. The two participating stores are handling the logistics of the sale, trade-in, and recycling - they are also offering a low price for the fluorescent torchieres.
Though the halogen torchieres have been banned in residence halls for years, it has never been enforced. Beginning November 1, 2002, this ban will be strictly enforced, making "The Great Halogen Trade-In" an appealing opportunity for those with contraband lamps in the residence halls.
Off campus students and community members should be excited about this opportunity to lower their electricity bills. If someone uses their lamp about seven hours a day, the cost of making the trade in will be paid back in electricity savings in less than three months!
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Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.discount-light-bulbs.com.
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