Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
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Not content with regulating our toilets and light bulbs, the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission has decided to ban inexpensive outdoor and indoor Christmas lights and decorations.
In October, with little fanfare, the CPSC proposed new regulations to outlaw strings of bulbs, lighted lawn figures and similar items based on wire sizes, fuses, and tensile strength.
Only the most expensive decorations would meet the new standards with the ones within the price range of the middle class and poor being declared hazardous. Wave goodbye to lawn Santa’s, Rudolph, stars topping the trees, and even lights on the tree or house. The agency estimates that their proposed regulations will impact 100 million items per year with a market value of $500 million.
Each of these items are thoroughly tested and regulated by internal industry standards regulations set by the CPSC that has already been responsible for the recall of 3.6-million unsafe lights since 1974.
To justify the stricter regulations, regulations that treat the middle class and poor as if they were to incompetent to make their own decisions, the CPSC cites 250 deaths from fires or electrocutions by Christmas lights. That’s not 250 deaths per year however, it’s 250 deaths since 1980 (33 years) or 7.5 deaths a year. If that was that is the new standard for consumer products, wave goodbye to your pool and tub, baseball bats, stoves, cars, wash buckets and any other goods in common use since they all of them produce more deaths than that.
There seems to be no end to the nanny state’s meddling in peoples’ joy. The comment period ends December 30. Call humbug before then and hope the CPSC comes to its senses or future Christmas’s will be a lot less bright.