Fire caused by spotlight

M

marsaday

My mate has had a fire in his loft this week. All caused by a spot fitted right next to the ceiling joist. It has taken many yrs for the timber to dry out and it has basically been slowly burning for ages i think (about 50cm length).

So even though they had no lights on and were at work the loft decided to combust. He could small the burning while walking back from work in the eve and loads of smoke was coming from the roof area.

All sorted now and he is fully insured, but just goes to show how dangerous the spots can be. i dont think they were fire rated spots by the way.
 
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Yes those 50watt/35Watt halogen downlights generate huge amounts of heat. I have seen scorched timbers several times when pulling out old downlights. The fire rated ones still need careful attention when siting them and I use metal joist covers where possible to keep loft insulation well away from them. I refused to install halogen lamps recently in a ceiling which had UFH heating and screed on the floor above. Customer was initially irritated but then realised that I was doing my best not to burn their house down.

Also downlights seem to be used way too often as primary lighting which is a very inefficient way to illuminate a room. Very often I see around 1KW of downlights in a single room which would have been better illuminated by two low energy pendant lights.

Has anyone see a dimmable version of the GU10-LED lamp yet?
 
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i dont think they were fire rated spots by the way.

Please note - and this has been said many times before.

Fire rated downlights are not designed to stop the downlight (or nearby timber!) from catching fire.
They are designed to slow down the passage of fire THAT HAS OCCURRED IN THE ROOM THAT THE DOWNLIGHTS ARE FITTED. Otherwise the fire will be drawn through the downlight housing into the floor space/loft above.

Also note there is absolutely no point in fitting fire-rated downlights into a ceiling unless it is already a fire-rated ceiling.
 
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Please note - and this has been said many times before.

Fire rated downlights are not designed to stop the downlight (or nearby timber!) from catching fire.

Thanks, yes I am aware of that point. I fit them to maintain the integrity of 30/90 minute fire rated ceilings. I fit the metal joist covers in an aid to prevent the top of the unit getting covered with insulation. actually I try to talk people out of them altogether unless they are to specifically illuminate a feature.
 
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Is there not a building reg that states that if you breach a ceiling (such as with a hole for a downlight) then that hole should be sealed to maintain the same fire/acoustic/thermal properties as before?

I always fit fire rated in any case.
 
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Ordinary non-"fire-rated" downlights do not compromise a 30 minute ceiling.

And anyway - if you live in a regular 2-storey house, go ino the hall and look up - you'll see a s*****g great hole in the ceiling... ;)
 

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