Light Bulb Safety Tips: What to Do When a Bulb Breaks

What to Do When a Bulb Breaks

Light bulbs have come a long way since being made popular by Thomas Edison more than 100 years ago, but they’re still not foolproof. It’s rare, but not unheard for of a light bulb to break when installing one into its socket, leaving several pieces of shattered glass scattered all over the floor. The problem only gets worse if you have pets or children around when this happens. Here’s what you should do when facing a shattered light bulb scenario. 

Let Everyone Know of the Situation If other people are in the room or immediate vicinity, have them leave the room and inform them that the area is potentially hazardous for children and pets. Be sure to keep everyone away from the broken glass pieces to prevent them from being crushed into tinier fragments, making it harder to clean them up. 

Get a Broom Take a broom and dustpan, using them to sweep and collect the glass shards. Avoid picking up the broken glass with your bare hands as you could very well cut yourself. A broom with soft bristles works best since they can easily go into crevices and corners more effectively. 

Be Aware of Hazardous Substances CFL bulbs contain small traces of toxic mercury, which complicate the disposal process. Contact your local hazardous waste management center and ask them how you can clean it up properly. 

Sweep the Debris with Short Strokes in One Direction Use short, straight motions when sweeping the glass shards into your dustpan. Avoid long sweeping strokes, which only spread the debris even further. You want to contain the spread of debris, not expand it. 

Double Check the Area Assess the area after cleaning it up with your broom and dustpan—you may have missed a few spots here or there. You should look under furniture to check for pieces underneath. For any comments or questions, contact our customer support hotline.

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