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Too bright, too festive and a fire risk: Led funeral wreaths no longer welcome by some funeral parlours here

They may seem to be a burgeoning trend when it comes to funerals, but it seems LED wreaths have gained a somewhat bad rep of late, especially among funeral parlours in Singapore.

And this is primarily due to the electrical and fire safety concerns regarding these wreaths, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Facebook page Death Kopitiam Singapore shared in a post on May 27 that some funeral parlours in Singapore are prohibiting the display of electronic wreaths on their premises due to "fire safety measures", along with photos of circulars put up by Sin Ming Funeral Parlour and Singapore Casket.

Sin Ming Funeral Parlour told Shin Min Daily News that the ban was due to concerns over the fire and electrical risks these LED wreaths pose as well as space constraints.

Another funeral home, which declined to be identified, said they experienced a severe power outage caused by six such wreaths which overloaded the power supply some two months back.

Like Sin Ming Funeral Parlour, they have banned the display of these LED wreaths on its premises.

A spokesperson from another funeral home located in Tampines said these wreaths, coupled with the use of microphones and sound systems during ongoing ceremonies, tend to overload the power outlets.

Fearing that the overloaded circuits might cause an electrical fire, he too banned the display of LED wreaths this month.

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Two funeral service providers AsiaOne contacted said they have no such ban although one said they do discourage the display of such wreaths due to space constraints.

The Singapore Casket told Shin Min that the company had always prohibited the display of LED wreaths on its premises primarily due to the bright lights emanating from the wreaths which are "three to four times brighter" when indoors.

'Too festive'

Safety aside, one funeral parlour told Shin Min that some family members complained that the wreaths are "too festive", which led to a ban by them. 

The Teochew Funeral Parlour, run by the Ngee Ann Kongsi, had previously allowed bereaved families to display a maximum of five LED wreaths in its halls, reported Shin Min on May 30.

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"Once, more than 20 wreaths were delivered here but as we didn't have enough space we were forced to return them," said a staff, surnamed Wu, adding that electrical outages at the funeral home are a daily occurrence.

However, in a Facebook post by Death Kopitiam on Tuesday (May 31), a circular by the Ngee Ann Kongsi dated June 1, 2022, said that LED wreaths will no longer be permitted within and outside of the funeral parlour "due to fire safety concern".

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When contacted by AsiaOne, X Funerals, a supplier of LED wreaths said that they are aware that many funeral homes in Singapore have banned the display of electronic wreaths on their premises.

Cyrus Lee, a marketing executive from the company, said that the "the exact reasons are not known to us".

On the issue of power outages, Lee admitted that they "do happen occasionally during wet weather periods", referring to outdoor setups.

However, he said he has not come across any incidents of fires caused by such wreaths.

While LED wreaths are not specified on the Consumer Product Safety Office's list of controlled goods, decorative lighting chains are.

Jeremy Ng, a director of Singapore LED Flower Wreaths' shared with AsiaOne that the plugs for their wreaths are sourced locally and bear the safety mark, while the transformers within the wreaths are compliant with European Union safety standards. 

"The cables we use are from reputable sources that have a true copper core and are commercial-grade and safe," Ng said.

This practice of sending LED wreaths as condolence gifts first started in Taiwan and enterprising individuals here saw the business opportunity and started importing them in 2019, reported Shin Min.

candicecai@asiaone.com