View Report

(Printable PDF)
General Electric compact fluorescent light-bulb: Helical 20 Watt 120 VAC 60 Hertz 300 milliampere Part number FLE 20HT3/2/SW followed by a marking "FC". Underwriter's Laboratory # 6G49. UL is in a circle that also contains a registered trademark logo R. The words shock listed are next to the 6G49 number.
Furniture, Furnishings & Decorations
Indoor Lighting
Light Bulbs (627)
GE Appliances & Lighting    
General Electric
FLE 20HT3/2/SW
11/15/2010 This date is an estimate
I smelled a burning odor and went to the living-room and found smoke coming from the top of the floor lamp. I immediately unplugged the floor lamp. I then tilted the lamp to see what the problem was and noticed the base of the CFL bulb had a burnt appearance. I removed the bulb and, on closer inspection, found charring near the base of the helical tubes. It also appears that the base was starting to melt. I could not determine if the helical glass had broken. I know CFL bulbs contain mercury, so I checked the bulb for a Hg (mercury) marking, which I found. I am worried not only about the potential fire hazard these bulbs present, but that my wife and I may have either handled mercury or inhaled it's vapors. I did some research on the Internet and found numerous incidents where CFLs had either "smoked or burned" exactly as mine (I could not see the bulb until after I unplugged the light and don't know if it was actually burning). I think these bulbs are both a fire hazard and a potential health risk.
Incident, No Injury
My Spouse
56 years
Comment from GE Appliances & Lighting 6/15/2011
GE compact fluorescent lights are designed to meet GE’s and third-party safety requirements. In some cases, electronic components in the CFL’s base may wear out in a way that will result in some smoke, odor, or discoloration (browning) of the plastic housing. When this occurs, it can result in an audible "popping" or "sizzling" sound. The CFL’s housing is specifically designed to prevent the plastic or worn-out components from igniting. GE CFLs meet GE and UL standards, which require the housing materials to be self–extinguishing. It is the nature of fire retardant materials to exhibit some deformation or discoloration in a protective mode, and this is an indication that the product’s safety design worked as it should have.

For additional guidance on CFL safety design and end-of-life issues, please see UL’s website:

Please also see GE Lighting’s website for additional information on CFLs

Consumers looking for additional information should contact GE toll free at 1-800-GELIGHT (1-800-435-4448), or contact customer care on GE Lighting’s website and click on “Contact Us”.
File NameDescription
123.JPG GE CFL light bulb
124.JPG GE CFL lightbulb 2
127.JPG GE CFL lightbulb 3

CPSC does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of the Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database on, particularly with respect to information submitted by people outside of CPSC.