The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a final rule, as published in the Federal Register [PDF] that states “seasonal and decorative lighting products that do not contain any one of three readily observable characteristics are deemed a substantial product hazard under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).” These observable characteristics include:
- Minimum wire size
- Sufficient strain relief
- Overcurrent protection
The rule covers seasonal and decorative lighting products that are portable, plug-connected, temporary-use lighting products and accessories that have a nominal 120-volt input voltage rating.
The definition has been adopted from section 1 of UL 588, which defined “seasonal (holiday) product’’ as “product painted in colors to suggest a holiday theme or a snow covering, a figure in a holiday costume, or any decoration associated with a holiday or particular season of the year.’’
It applies to light-up decorations such as wreaths, stars, candles, blow up and animated figures, tree toppers, electronic Christmas trees that are shorter than 30 inches, tree stands, controllers, and motorized decorative displays. However, products that are either solar-powered or permanently connected to a power source are exempted.
Although the rule has been listed as a voluntary standard, failure to report products that do not meet the rule’s requirements will result to civil or criminal penalties.This rule is in effect beginning June 3, 2015.