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NSW Fire Brigades warns of fire risks from halogen down lights

Published: 1st August 2007

The NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) is urging local residents to ensure their halogen down lights are properly installed, insulated and maintained. Over the last five years there have been 75 house fires across the state that have been linked to halogen down lights.

It is essential for homeowners to use licensed electrical tradespeople to install halogen down lights and ensure that all lights fitted in the home meet the current Australian standards. Halogen down lights should not be installed too close to structural timber such as roof, ceiling or floor beams. Nor should they be closed over by ceiling insulation which can vary from pulped paper, rock wool, fibreglass batts or polyester batts.

Residents should be mindful when having work or renovations done to their homes to ensure the ceiling insulation does not come in contact with the halogen down lights.

It is important that the lights are checked and maintained to prevent a build up of dust and leaves which can become a point of ignition. Vermin are also attracted to the heat of the lights and insulation within the roof to build their nests. Homeowners should check for damage caused by vermin nesting in their roof and floor cavities. This would require a check from inside the cavity of the roof.

People should also remember that smoke alarms are designed to detect smoke in the house – not in the ceiling cavity.

Click here to view the halogen down light safety fact sheet