fire regs

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i wanted to fit some downlighters into a room downstairs and one upstairs,
so i was browsing on the web and came across an article that stated,houses built after jan 2003 have to have a firehood fitted above each light due to fire and sound proofing regulations.
so i made a visit to an electrical outlet to ask them about it,they said they had some in stock but have never sold a one of em.
they also said no one fits them because the heat can't escape from the lamp.
so whats the score,and does it apply up as well as downstairs and how many have been fitted by diyers who don't know about this reg.
 
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Hello,

For starters they only stop the spread of fire for approx 30mins...

We installed some in a kitchen (30 downlights) was a nightmare to install... took 2 times as long to put the hoods on that to wire up the transformers and downlights!

However it is correct on what they said about them overheating the hoods just end up sitting on the downlight.

Personally we don't use them anymore however if a building inspector comes out and says we need them then so be it.

If u dont use a fire hood just ensure all insulation is removed around the downlight to ensure it does not overheat. however if it does then the transformer will fail to work = more money.

hope this helps,

carlos
 
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Carloss said:
For starters they only stop the spread of fire for approx 30mins...

and for desert :) the rest of the floor construction is only fire resistant for 30 minutes as thats the standard its designed to for in the average 2 storey house.
The timber flooring/joists/plaster combine to provide 30 mins fire resistance - when the holes for the plaster are made the resistance of the floor is brought down massively - ive seen test reports that found some downlights drop out in only 6 minutes :eek: - then the fire is free to set light to your floorboards :eek: :eek:.

The fire resistant aspect of these hoods has been required for donkeys years, it just seems that the use of downlights has exploded in the past 5 years or so hence the raised profile.

The 2003 date comes into it because in 2003 the Sound regulations were revised (again the construction of the floor timber/quilt/plasterboard combine to provide the sound resistance) and thats when the hoods were needed to provide fire and sound resistance.
If the plaster is removed (by drilling the holes for the lights to fit in) and the quilt pulled back then the sound insulation is broken and massively less effective.

The hoods are needed to floor constructions but not in roofs (unless it the roof is needed for an escape route - some flat roofs generally).

However if you pull the insulation away from the downlights in a loft space (say form a 300mm circle with the downlight in the middle ) then the insulation in the roof becomes much less effective. The warm air from your room will escape though the coldest part - which would be the uninsulated circle around the downlights.

Carloss said:
However it is correct on what they said about them overheating the hoods just end up sitting on the downlight.

The downlight hoods are produced by several manufacturers - surely all of them cant have neglected to take the heat produced by the downlight into account?

I'd be interested to know how much space does the downlight need to release its heat?

I have heard of people placing upturned plant pots or wire planters (300mm diameter) above downlights in lofts and and laying the insulation quilt over these - would that give the light enough room to release its heat?

Several manufacturers now make downlights that have the fire and sound resistance built into the downlight unit rather that needing separate hoods and these overcome all these issues as i understand - happy days :D
 
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Mr Winston,

Thanks also for that info! When it was discussed with other employee's and wholesalers we never went into that depth. Learn something new everyday!
I learned another thing today also never carry a screwbox over a main road.....Glad the police took it in good humour and helped me pick up all the contents even though there was a tail back for 2miles!!

Back to the subject, We did come across a downlight which was about 85mm in diameter which like you said is fire resistant and sound proofed... costs a fair bit more than a standard one though! If i find a website with it on i will post.

carlos
 
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but balance that cost against the combined cost of each downlight and fire/sound hood.........then the simpler installation avoiding

took 2 times as long to put the hoods on that to wire up the transformers and downlights!

hows that grab ya?
 
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gcx51,

There the ones we used on a job...the fitting is very big-did have a few problems with them fitting in a ceiling with a flat located above was not enough room for it to go up! however i do recommend them as the spring fixture on them is very strong.

Regarding your comment Mr Winston, i learned from my mistake!

Have a good weekend,

carlos
 
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thanks for the replys,but does everybody fit them?,according to the article if there was a fire and the downlighters were'nt fitted with the hoods the penaltys were severe,jail and something like 20 grand fine so if you are a leccy do you take the chance? and how many of your customers would be willing to pay probably 3 or 4 times the cost.
 
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As i only said, only if a building inspector requests them to be fitted, otherwise no. A lot of other electricians who i have spoken to have never heard of them and/or don't know what they are and have never seen them.

Just ensure you do everything to prevent a fire starting where you have installed the downlight, i.e. remove insulation.

If you don't feel comftorble then buy some fittings from the website gcx51 posted.

http://www.lighting.eu.com/mdrsllind.aspx?MenuLink=FireDownlight&BrochureGroup1=AIN05


carlos
 
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but does everybody fit them

probably not everybody.

Maintaining the fire resistance and sound insulation is integral to meeting the regs.

so doing it properly means fitting them.

As for the people who dont know about them, quite simply they should make it their business to know - particularly those who are professionals employed by the trusting public
 
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