christmas_lights_inside.jpgChristmas comes early to the country. As early as now, people are stocking up on supplies and adornments that will make their homes the most festive ones on their streets. And high up on the list of Christmas decor are Christmas lights.

Every year, we hear reports of faulty Christmas lights being responsible for fires that not only destroy property, but take lives as well. Because of this, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urges buyers to be more aware of the quality of the Christmas lights they will use during the Holidays.

DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya says that all vendors of Christmas lights should have an Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) from the DTI, and their wares should pass quality inspection. All DTI-approved products will feature safety seals from the ICC and Philippine Standards (PS). To aid consumers, the DTI website also has a list of Christmas lights brands that have been certified as safe.

The DTI's Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) conducts tests on the worthiness of the lights. According to Engineer Jerry Maglalang, manager of the BPS Testing Center of the DTI, they test the wires' susceptibility to heat and water as well as how long the lights' lifespan is and whether or not the PVC coating of the wires are of the proper thickness. Engineer Maglalang further adds that consumers cannot properly determine the safety of a product just by looking at it, so having it go through proper tests is in the consumer's best interest.

For more tips on home safety, check out these FN articles:

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(Photo by jermlac via Flickr Creative Commons )
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