Some funeral parlours ban LED wreaths over safety concerns and power outages

LED wreaths were introduced in Singapore in 2019 after they become popular in China and Taiwan. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Some funeral parlours here have banned electronic LED flower wreaths and inflatable structures at their premises over concerns about safety, electrical overload and excessive brightness.

But companies selling the items said their business has not been affected as about 90 per cent of wakes they supply to are at Housing Board void decks.

Singapore Casket's assistant general manager, Mr Calvin Tang, said it first banned such items at its funeral parlour halls in Lavender Street in 2019.

These include inflatable lanterns, gates and arches that are mostly seen at Buddhist and Taoist funerals.

"We were concerned about space constraints, the level of brightness and overloading the power supply. The comfort of other grieving families is also important to us," he said on Tuesday (May 31).

The company put up a notice on May 10 to remind customers of the ban after observing that electronic wreaths were becoming more popular, Mr Tang added.

It said Singapore Casket reserved the right to dispose of the items without prior notice.

Singapore Funeral Parlour banned electronic wreaths at its building in Tampines in April after experiencing power outages several times a day around end-March.

Its person in charge, who declined to be named, said there were as many as 30 to 40 electronic wreaths in the building at the same time at one point.

"We decided to ban all electronic wreaths to prevent a fire or the electricity from tripping," he said.

Sin Ming Funeral Parlour banned the items last week, said its person in charge, who wanted to be known only as Ms Zhang.

"The space is limited and we were also worried about safety issues like fire protection and electricity use," she said.

"One of our customers had more than 10 LED wreaths. It's dangerous, especially if there are kids around. We want to prevent any potential accident."

Businesses selling the items said they were not concerned about the ban at some funeral parlours.

LED wreaths were introduced in Singapore in 2019 after they became popular in China and Taiwan, but companies here said the business gained traction in 2020.

Prices of each wreath can range from $90 to $138, including on-site installation.

Soul of Productions founder Lim Kok Wei said he has heard that most funeral parlours have banned the items, but his business has remained stable.

The 36-year-old, who started supplying LED wreaths in March last year, said demand remains strong as such wreaths, unlike traditional fresh flower wreaths, can last the entire wake of up to five or seven days.

But he has also received complaints from residents that the wreaths, lanterns and balloon arches were too bright.

"We always check the electricity usage at the venue, and we won't risk it by installing too many. I've never encountered an incident in which the electricity tripped," he added.

LED wreaths were introduced in Singapore in 2019 after they became popular in China and Taiwan, but companies here said the business gained traction in 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

The founder of Last Journey Flower Wreath, Mr Jeremy Ng, 25, said he is also aware of the ban but is not concerned.

"If the wake is at a funeral parlour, we would advise customers to get fresh flower wreaths due to space constraints," he said.

Demand for LED wreaths peaked in mid-2021 and has remained stable since, he added.

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