Monday, February 3, 2014

Broken Glass & Safety: Shatterproof Light Bulbs

shatter proof light bulbsLight bulbs that don’t shatter? We know you’re probably thinking, "but they’re made of glass, and glass breaks." While that is true, there are shatter proof light bulbs that are designed to keep the breakage from becoming a problem. They have been around for decades, mostly used in production facilities and the food service industry.

The concept behind shatterproof bulbs is pretty simple. Glass is fragile, and keeping it from breaking just isn’t possible. The next best thing is a bulb that doesn’t allow the glass to shatter and scatter all over the place. So, how do you do that? With a safety coating.

Shatterproof light bulbs have been coated with a material that is puncture resistant, usually Teflon. The coating acts like a barrier between the bulb and the outside world. While this safety coating won’t keep the bulb from breaking it will keep all the broken pieces contained. One thing worth noting is that safety coated light bulbs do have the potential for producing trace amounts of gas. While this gas hasn’t been found to affect people, it can be harmful to birds.

The Advantages of Using Shatterproof Bulbs

Improved Safety
Of course the biggest advantage with shatterproof bulbs is that there is almost no risk of injury because the broken glass is contained in the safety coating.

No Mess
In most instances when a shatter resistant bulb breaks, the glass and components are held in by the exterior coating. When a normal bulb breaks, these parts can scatter creating a substantial mess that needs thorough cleaning.

Wide Selection
Safety coated light bulbs come in a variety of shapes, wattages, voltages, and sizes from long fluorescent bulbs to the ordinary household lights. Virtually any bulb can be safety coated.

Industries That Use Safety Coated Light Bulbs

Because of the dangers that a broken bulb can pose in the work environment and to consumers, the FDA, USDA, and OSHA have all created regulations for shatter resistant bulbs. The FDA Food Code Chapter 6, Section 202.11 has deemed that protected or shatter resistant bulbs need to be used in areas where the following are present:

  • Exposed food
  • Clean equipment
  • Utensils
  • Linens
  • Unwrapped single-service and single-use articles

This means that restaurants, food processing plants, food packaging facilities, etc. must all use shatterproof light bulbs. In addition, safety coated light bulbs must be used in child care facilities and in elevators. Shatterproof light bulbs are also used in some types of machinery that could be adversely affected if broken glass and lamp components were to get within the machine parts.

All workplaces can greatly benefit from the use of shatterproof bulbs because they limit the chance of injury and reduce liability. If you’d like to replace your standard bulbs with shatter resistant options check out our selection at We have dozens of shatterproof bulbs to choose from at great prices!


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