As the Christmas season nears, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday cautioned the public against buying old stocks of imported Christmas lights to avoid potential fire hazards.
Gerardo Maglalang, officer in charge of the Bureau of Product Standards at the DTI, said in a statement that the materials used in Christmas lights, specifically the insulation material which is made of plastic or PVC, deteriorate over time. Based on the findings, the age of plastic or PVC on Christmas lights that can safely conduct electricity is about three years, he added.
This is why the DTI has urged importers and traders to pull out their Christmas lights which bear Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers that are more than three years old, said Victorio Mario Dimagiba, officer in charge of the consumer welfare and business regulation group at the DTI.
A list of authorized importers and traders and approved brands of Christmas lights in the year 2011, 2012 and 2013 will also be published to guide consumers in buying Christmas lights.
Although there were more than 6.4 million ICC stickers issued for the year 2011, 2012, and 2013, Dimagiba warned the public that there are still Christmas lights with old ICC stickers in the market.
The DTI will visit hardware stores and several markets to ensure that there are no Christmas lights with old ICC stickers being sold.
Christmas lights or lighting chains, is one of 62 products that require mandatory product certification. The lights should bear the Philippine Standard (PS) mark for locally manufactured items, and ICC mark for the imported ones.