Paper Lamp Safety

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Paper lamp shades and paper lanterns pose a fire hazard, and when not used properly, the risk of fire increases. If you wish to use a paper lamp or lantern, follow all safety precautions.

Avoid Contact

Make sure the light bulb you use does not come in contact with the paper. At least three inches between the paper and the bulb is a good rule of thumb.

Choose a Suitable Bulb

Use a low wattage bulb, and never exceed the lamp's recommended wattage. Compact fluorescent bulbs are a good choice for a paper lamp because they tend to stay cooler than traditional light bulbs when in use. A halogen bulb, which produces a lot of heat, is a safety hazard near paper.

Keep Children Away

Don't allow children to get close to a paper lamp or its cord. If they knock it over, the light bulb could come in contact with the paper or another item that can catch fire easily when hot.

Fire Retardant Paper

Look for fire-retardant paper for your lamp if possible. It will minimize the chances of a paper lamp catching on fire.

Never Leave Unattended

As a safety precaution, only have paper lamps turned on when someone is present.

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Ann Wolters

Ann Wolters has been a writer, consultant and writing coach since 2008. Her work has appeared in "The Saint Paul Almanac" and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a Master of Arts in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota.