The dangers of non fire rated downlights

Downlights are a popular and attractive way to brighten up your house, but poorly installed and not to the manufactures instructions can be a huge fire risk to your home.

Downlights come in a lot of different forms mains (230v rated), low voltage (12v via a transformer), LED, fire rated and non fire rated. It’s always recommended to fit fire rated fittings and a regulation to fit this kind of fitting if there is a habitable room above the one where lights are being installed, or if installing non fire rated fittings to fit a fire hood to each light.

The dangers of non fire rated downlights came to my immediate attention recently. Having been called out to a job to look at some downlights that had stopped working, on closer inspection after taking one of the fittings down (non fire rated downlight) the transformer had been left leaning on the halogen light, which had melted the transformer and left brown charring on it. In the right or should I say wrong circumstances this could have caused a fire in the customers property.

I myself would never fit non fire rated downlights. Make sure existing downlights do not have any noticeable marking or scorching around them and are not installed near furniture, curtains or similar combustible materials and not covered in a loft space.

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