DO MY RECESSED DOWN LIGHTS NEED TO BE FIRE RATED?

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Ceiling Lights:

DO MY RECESSED DOWN LIGHTS NEED TO BE FIRE RATED?

Most ceilings have a fire rating that is used to calculate the time it can hold back flames from spreading to the upper floor - a normal rating would be 60 minutes. When you cut holes into your ceiling to install down lights you reduce this fire stopping capability and fire can spread between floors though the holes in your ceiling. By installing fire rated down lights you ensure the ceiling remains an effective barrier. 

For commercial applications, new builds and rented properties, all down lights must be fire rated when installed into a ceiling with living accommodation above. Most electricians will use fire rated down lights throughout regardless. The minimum fire rating for down lights is generally 30 minutes but 60 or even 90 minutes is a better option. The choice is yours, but we would always recommend using fire rated down lights where there is living accommodation above. Your local council will be able to advise you about the regulations applicable in your area. 

Down lights are often manufactured with integral fire hoods which may also have an acoustic rating which is often required for building regulations. Again your local council will be able to advise you. If down lights do not have an integral fire hood, separate fire hoods can be purchased relatively cheaply and these simply fit over the top of the down light.

 

 

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