Do new downlights need to be fire rated?


Postby DIY_Junkie » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:12 pm

Hi all,

I'll be installing new downlights into a lounge ceiling. I'm on the top floor so access is easy via the attic. I had heard that I need to ensure the new lights are fire rated so that in the event of a fire the light would seal the hole, stopping the fire from going into the attic void. Is that true?

If this does hold true, why are there so many non fire rated downlighters sold - they all go into a ceiling of some sort after all, many of which will also be the 'floor' of an attic.

I'm a bit confused on this one...any help greatly appreciated.
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Postby Sara H » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:58 pm

DIY_Junkie you say the access for the new lights will be via the attic. Are we right to assume that its a plasterboard ceiling with loft insulation above it and then you are walking on the rafters or loftboard?

Never come across lighting that seals a hole in the event of a fire so I can't comment.

However section 422.4.2 of the 17th edition states that luminaires should be kept the following distances from combustible materials

up to 100W = 0.5m
between 100w and 300w = 0.8m

There are such things as fire shroud which you can put over recessed lumninaires to prevent heat from lights being transmitted to combustible materials and to also prevent flame paths from the room below via the holes wihtin the ceiling created by the lights.

HTH

Sara
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Postby DIY_Junkie » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:56 am

Sara H,
Yes it's a plasterboard ceiling with loft insulation above it and I'd be walking the rafters. The 'light sealing the hole' thing comes from a box of fire rated downlighters in B&Q - maybe I've misinterpreted but that seemed to be what is was doing...sealing the hole (or maybe just keeping the hole filled by its presence) for up to 90 minutes in the event of a fire. I guess if the light doesn't melt entirely and fall through in 5 minutes then there'd be no updraft to feed the fire.

I've seen the fire shroud or the "Intumescent Downlight Cover" as Toolstation calls it - for 6 downlighters, the cost soon stacks up and it'd probably be cheaper to buy fire rated lights in the first place.

Thanks for the advice from the 17th edition regs - I'll keep that in mind when installing.

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