Popular fixture deemed dangerous

Alma Aliaj

Five-light, multi-colored floor lamps have become popular in residence halls, but the lamps pose a potential fire hazard.

The lamps have been creating some fire safety concerns at Villanova and several other universities around the United States. Recently, the Office of Residence Life advised students that all lamps of this kind should be removed from residence hall rooms as well as other areas of our campus as soon as possible.

On campus, there have already been several incidents involving the lamps, but no specific details about the possible extent of the damage are available.

Though the problems have been minor, the potential threat that these appliances pose is having an effect on Villanova as well as other campuses.

Students from universities across the country have reported that the plastic shades melted on the lamps. In one room, this caused a buildup of toxic fumes, and the melted plastic from the shade burned a hole in the bedspread.

Another instance involved a student who simply turned on the lamp.

Within 15 minutes, the shade melted and the heat began to turn a poster on the wall brown.

In all instances, the bulbs with proper wattage were being used.

These close calls have prompted Residence Life to encourage students to send the lamps home or stop using them altogether.

“I understand these lamps are fun, useful and cute, but the safety hazard posed by them is simply not worth the risk,” said Caitlin Driscoll, residence hall operations manager.

Residence Life is choosing not to confiscate the lamps. Rather, they’re urging students to get rid of the lamps immediately and to be careful with any other lighting fixtures with plastic shades.

“It’s a little disappointing that I have to send my lamp back home,” freshman Stephanie Scianniv said. “In the end, though, I’d rather just be safe and eliminate any chance of something catching on fire.”

It seems that most students on campus feel this and many of them have decided to pack up their lamps and sent them home. Others have decided to throw the appliance away altogether.