A new safety rule for seasonal and decorative lights went into effect on June 3, 2015. Under the new rule, the CPSC is able to more readily stop shipments of nonconforming decorative lights at U.S. ports on entry and obtain recalls for hazardous lights that have been sold. If such lights lack any of the three observable characteristics outlined in the UL 588 voluntary standard – minimum wire size, sufficient strain relief or overcurrent protection – the CPSC will deem the product as presenting a substantial product hazard to consumers. Accordingly, while manufacturers do not have additional testing requirements, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers must report to the CPSC any such lights that lack the safety characteristics outlined in UL 588.
The CPSC Recall Snapshot is a useful tool in keeping up-to-date on the activities of the CPSC.