Old or poorly installed ceiling downlights are thought to cause at least one house fire every week in Western Australia. They can set fire to roof insulation or timbers which burn in the roof space above smoke alarms. These fires can go undetected until it is too late. Often, people only know their house is on fire when flaming material comes through air conditioning vents or the ceiling collapses. It makes a safe escape more difficult and causes significant damage.
What can I do to prevent a downlight fire in my home?
- Always use a licensed electrical contractor and ask to see their Electrical Safety Certificate.
- Ask a licensed electrical contractor to inspect all downlights and transformers.
- Ensure a non-combustible or mechanical barrier is installed to prevent insulation or other combustible material covering downlights.
- Always use fittings and guards that meet Australian Standards.
- Following any work in your roof space, request your licensed electrical contractor or insulation installer to inspect all downlights and transformers to ensure they are clear of insulation or other combustible material.
- Consider replacing 240 volt incandescent globes with compact fluorescent globes that produce less heat.
- Consider replacing 12 volt halogen (dichroic) globes with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) that produce considerably less heat.
Should I install my own Downlights in my home?
No, it is illegal to install your own lights. You must use a licensed electrical contractor.