SINGAPORE: Some funeral homes here have banned electronic LED wreaths and inflatables on their premises due to safety concerns, electrical overload and excessive brightness.
But the companies selling the items said their business has not been affected, as around 90 per cent of the wakes they supply are on empty Housing Board decks.
Singapore Casket Deputy Managing Director Calvin Tang said he first banned the items from his Lavender Street funeral homes in 2019.
These include inflatable lanterns, gates, and arches that are mostly seen at Buddhist and Taoist funerals.
“We were concerned about space constraints, light level and power supply overload. The comfort of other grieving families is also important to us,” he said on Tuesday, May 31.
The company issued a notice on May 10 reminding customers of the ban after observing that e-crowns were becoming increasingly popular, Tang added.
He said Singapore Casket reserves the right to dispose of the items without notice.
The Singapore Funeral Home banned electronic wreaths at its Tampines building in April after experiencing power outages several times a day towards the end of March.
Its manager, who declined to be named, said there were as many as 30 to 40 electronic crowns in the building at one time at any given time.
“We decided to ban all electronic crowns to prevent a fire or electricity from going off,” he said.
Sin Ming Funeral Home banned the items last week, said its manager, who wanted to be known only as Zhang.
“Space is limited and we were also concerned about safety issues such as fire protection and electricity consumption,” she said.
“One of our customers had more than 10 LED crowns. It’s dangerous, especially if there are children around. We want to prevent any potential accident.
Companies selling the items said they were not concerned about the ban at some funeral homes.
LED crowns were introduced in Singapore in 2019 after becoming popular in China and Taiwan, but companies here said the business picked up steam in 2020.
Prices for each wreath can range from S$90 (RM287) to S$138 (RM440) including on-site installation.
Soul of Productions founder Lim Kok Wei said he heard most funeral homes banned the items, but his business remained stable.
The 36-year-old, who started supplying LED wreaths in March last year, said demand remains strong as these wreaths, unlike traditional fresh flower wreaths, can last up to five or seven days.
But it also received complaints from residents that the wreaths, lanterns and balloon arches were too bright.
“We always check the electricity consumption on site, and we won’t take the risk of installing too much. I have never come across an incident where the electricity went off,” he added.
Last Journey Flower Wreath founder Jeremy Ng, 25, said he was also aware of the ban but was not worried.
“If the wake is being held at a funeral home, we advise customers to obtain fresh wreaths due to space constraints,” he said.
Demand for LED crowns peaked in mid-2021 and has remained stable since, he added. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network