IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: Non fire rated down lighters
Topic Summary:
Created On: 11 October 2018 03:41 PM
Status: Read Only
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 11 October 2018 03:41 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



celtic1967

Posts: 100
Joined: 15 August 2014

Hi had a discussion with another electrician the other day there regarding the use of non fire rated downlighters. He was saying that all downlights have to be fire rated. My understanding of the use of fire rated downlights is only required when it's on a fire rated ceiling/wall. For example in a block of flats , in between ground and 1st floor and 1st and 2nd floor ceilings but 2nd floor would not require fire rated down lights as it's not a fire rated ceiling only one layer with a attic space above which is not getting done or used as a room. Also in a house if there's a garage with room above fire rated down lights but every where else won't require them ?? As I notice lads note this as a code 3 on EICRs ?? Any help much appreciated
 11 October 2018 05:50 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



daveparry1

Posts: 7978
Joined: 04 July 2007

Only required where the ceiling is a "fire compartment" as far as I know, this is usually in flats etc. where another family lives in the room above, HMO in other words. Also if the lights are in a garage with a habitable room above.
 11 October 2018 06:02 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



celtic1967

Posts: 100
Joined: 15 August 2014

Thanks for the reply daveparry1. That's my understanding aswell but I see a lot of EICR, with code 3 on non fire rated downlighters and I question it all the time as this is mainly in houses these codes and mostly every place in a house does not need fire rated down lights except garage. Can understand with insulation over the top of them but if you move the insulation out of the way or put a vented box over the top then they are acceptable ?? Is this right ??
 11 October 2018 06:08 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



IronFreely

Posts: 402
Joined: 06 November 2014

I believe you must always ensure that you maintain the original fire barrier, so 30/60/90 minutes according to what was installed with the building regs of the time. Which means if you're cutting into modern plasterboard in a modern property you almost certainly need to use rated downlighters. I also believe that part B requires the use of fire rated downlighters when there is a dwelling or bedroom above or to maintain the original fire rating of the ceiling. I've had a discussion with someone who said even if no one sleeps above Part B may require you to preserve the original fire barrier of the installed board to preserve the timbers of the building - even in a flat roof extension.
Personally I always use fire rated downlighters because fixed LED ones are now so small and cheap that it only saves you like £1 to go with non rated ones and they take no more room in the void than the non rated alternative. I found some lueco ones that can even be installed touching insulation.
Let's face it C3 means improvement recommended, I always recommend that improvement even if some swat can prove it's not non compliant, it's a recommendation after all. I usually write in on my recommendations "MAY NOT be compliant with part B"
 11 October 2018 06:40 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



celtic1967

Posts: 100
Joined: 15 August 2014

That's not to my understanding of the fire rated downlighters. So for example if fire happens in the downstairs then the fire can travel up through the stairwell, means of exits are windows and front and back doors. I would only think that fire rated down lights be installed if in a fire rated ceiling, so you are maintaining the fire rated ceiling with the fire rated downlighter. Why would we have to have fire rated down lights in a bathroom which above it is only an attic space. If that was the case then would we have to have fire rated fans as well as fire rated downlights ??
 11 October 2018 06:46 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



daveparry1

Posts: 7978
Joined: 04 July 2007

Good point Celtic, considering that it's the fact there's a hole in the ceiling rather than the light itself just think about the size of the hole for a fan compared to a downlight!
 11 October 2018 07:23 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



IronFreely

Posts: 402
Joined: 06 November 2014

Originally posted by: daveparry1

Good point Celtic, considering that it's the fact there's a hole in the ceiling rather than the light itself just think about the size of the hole for a fan compared to a downlight!


Not that it's relevant to the actual requirements but... The bigger the hole the slower the draw of the "chimney" so a downlight may very well draw up more heat and flame than a fan hole.... none the less I've often wondered if the requirements imply that in many circumstances a fan should exhaust through the wall not the ceiling in order to maintain the fire sealing arrangements/rating of the plasterboard, I have seen once a ceiling fan that when I took the time to look that theyed constructed a fire board cavity to run the exhaust conduit in, literally they boxed in the flexi tube with board all the way to an exterior wall....
I'm pretty sure that plenty of ceiling fans do in fact break the barrier when they shouldn't, but our focus is always on the lights and we forget there shouldn't be any open holes in that ceiling
My sister is a fire fighter and we've talked about it, her opinion is that plasterboard ceilings are intended to preserve the timbers in the loft, if she has to go into a burning building she wants to know that the roof isn't going to come down on her when the fires only been burning 20 minutes.
In the example where the fire is traveling up the stairwell it's worth pointing out a fire fighter might not expect the ceiling to come down on the ground floor because the plasterboard should protect the timbers between floors even though the whole building is ablaze. And that's the point, plasterboard preserves building timbers so it's safer for fire fighters, that's what the Sis says anyway...

Edited: 11 October 2018 at 07:32 PM by IronFreely
 11 October 2018 07:51 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



Farmboy

Posts: 101
Joined: 15 August 2018

Originally posted by: celtic1967

That's not to my understanding of the fire rated downlighters. So for example if fire happens in the downstairs then the fire can travel up through the stairwell, means of exits are windows and front and back doors. I would only think that fire rated down lights be installed if in a fire rated ceiling, so you are maintaining the fire rated ceiling with the fire rated downlighter. Why would we have to have fire rated down lights in a bathroom which above it is only an attic space. If that was the case then would we have to have fire rated fans as well as fire rated downlights ??


We arguably should be using, in essence, fire rated fans, depending on how the fan vents. Depending on the building regulations for a properties location, there's no requirement for fire rated fans/downlighters in non-fire separating ceilings - e.g. up into a roof space. However, if a fan vents into load bearing or fire separating stud walls, then the fan or the ducting should have intumescent material fitted to stop flames entering the void between studs. No names or faces, but my local building standards say have a look at best practice guide 5 by electrical safety first - some may disagree with the guides but if bldg stds are recommending it, that's good enough for me.
 11 October 2018 08:12 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



celtic1967

Posts: 100
Joined: 15 August 2014

Thanks for all replies, but as of the standards or regulations what is the correct method installing downlights in ceilings. Do all lights have to be fire rated now in every room and ceiling not even considering if there is a room upstairs or not or even if it's a fire rated ceiling. So even if it's a attic space all open no insulation then still have to fit fire rated downlights ? As I am getting mixed views on this, some say that should be fire rated and some say only fire rated when into fire rated ceiling as like said between flats, garage with room above. Even on new build contracts I've been on before where they have a cut a single fast fix box into the ceiling to fit a sensor or a 5amp socket for a window fan, what happens there as made of plastic -Spurs, sockets and back boxes ???
 11 October 2018 08:23 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



IronFreely

Posts: 402
Joined: 06 November 2014

Forget what you must do and instead ask yourself what is best practice, it doesn't cost much more to use fire rated lights, sometimes it's best practice to over spec and know that you're 100% fine...
I always use fire rated down lights, no matter what.

Sometimes I have needed to cut a back box into a ceiling, I get this intumescent material to line the box with, no idea what it's called I just ask for intumescent strips, you can cut them to fit almost any box.

Edited: 11 October 2018 at 08:31 PM by IronFreely
 11 October 2018 08:33 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



celtic1967

Posts: 100
Joined: 15 August 2014

Yeah was thinking that aswell for installs and 99% of the time I fit fire rated ones but as of doing EICRs some lads put down C3 for them others put C2 some don't put anything. But surely not good if you have 70 downlights In a house and recommend you change them all at what ever costs when In some if not most cases in a domestic house won't need fire rated downlights depending on your view weather need to be fire rated or not. Where most clients will always go with what the electrician says and replace them and you've cost them X amount when they might not need them done ??
 11 October 2018 08:34 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



aligarjon

Posts: 4025
Joined: 09 September 2005

Non fire rated fittings are still available to buy. Fire rated is not a requirement in a standard 2 storey house( garages aside). If more than 2 storeys then you have fire compartments including fire doors throughout.

Gary

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 11 October 2018 08:59 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



peteTLM

Posts: 3751
Joined: 31 March 2005

Fire rated lights are not normally required unless breaches a fire compartment as discussed above, but fire rated lights almost always also comply with (insert ventilation/ insulation part Letter here). So when you have a nice hole cut through your ceiling, the light stops the hole from breathing, and losing all your heat, or in the case of older properties, creating a black shadow on your white ceiling where all the black crap and dust has been sucked through the hole into the room.
If your building an extension, even if the fire related qualities are not needed, you will often notice the building regs requirements will require the sealing of the ceiling and hence 'fire' rated lights. Is it part E I'm thinking of?

-------------------------
----------------------------------------
Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 12 October 2018 02:10 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



celtic1967

Posts: 100
Joined: 15 August 2014

Im still non the wiser to actually what lights are ok and what lights are not ok. Seems like it sometimes come down to personal preference in some cases and to what inspector you get. As I watched a great video from John ward on this issue and explains that for a 2 storey house no need for fire rated downlights, only required when loft conversion done and if there is a garage with a room above. Single storey house no need for fire rated down lights. Flats yes fire rated down lights are required as all fire break ceilings and walls. If concrete fire break with suspended ceiling no need for fire rated down lights, now this is my understanding of it. But looking at other comments I'm still confused.
 12 October 2018 02:32 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



daveparry1

Posts: 7978
Joined: 04 July 2007

I'll go along with that Celtic.
 12 October 2018 02:41 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mapj1

Posts: 11588
Joined: 22 July 2004

The problem is that it depends how the building is supposed to work in a fire, and often we cannot see. A traditional house with 2 inch by 8 inch solid joists scarcely needs the plaster board ceiling at all in terms of fire handling, as they burn so slow that by the time the joists are weakend to collapse, everything else is already toast.
A more modern "value engineered" building with 'joists' that are an open web of roof batten thickness, or a wafer thin blade of wood with some thickening top and bottom like a wooden I beam, are much quicker to lose integrity, and the 20 mins delay or whatever you may get while the half an inch of plasterboard holds off against a flaming chip pan below, is really an essential part of the plan for being able to get folk out of the floor above in one piece.
Equally if the upstairs floor is beam and block concrete, its all change again, and any ceiling board is mostly cosmetic, drill away.
The advice has varied over the years, and will probably change again as I'm sure the Grenfell fire will lead to a generally more risk averse approach when part B is next updated.

In terms of lights, and if they are already there, are they safe to keep, will be a building specific answer, in many cases yes, but not all.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 12 October 2018 02:52 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



Fm

Posts: 1967
Joined: 24 August 2011

What does the big blue book say?
 12 October 2018 03:48 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



sparkiemike

Posts: 1656
Joined: 24 January 2008

 12 October 2018 07:29 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



aligarjon

Posts: 4025
Joined: 09 September 2005

Originally posted by: mapj1

The problem is that it depends how the building is supposed to work in a fire, and often we cannot see. A traditional house with 2 inch by 8 inch solid joists scarcely needs the plaster board ceiling at all in terms of fire handling, as they burn so slow that by the time the joists are weakend to collapse, everything else is already toast.

A more modern "value engineered" building with 'joists' that are an open web of roof batten thickness, or a wafer thin blade of wood with some thickening top and bottom like a wooden I beam, are much quicker to lose integrity, and the 20 mins delay or whatever you may get while the half an inch of plasterboard holds off against a flaming chip pan below, is really an essential part of the plan for being able to get folk out of the floor above in one piece.

Equally if the upstairs floor is beam and block concrete, its all change again, and any ceiling board is mostly cosmetic, drill away.

The advice has varied over the years, and will probably change again as I'm sure the Grenfell fire will lead to a generally more risk averse approach when part B is next updated.



In terms of lights, and if they are already there, are they safe to keep, will be a building specific answer, in many cases yes, but not all.




I can't remember where i read it but if the joist are not standard timber, so if they are as you describe these prefabricated things with metal or the thin don't know what it is between them but only a few mm thick then fire rated lights are required.


Gary

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
Statistics

New here?


See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2018 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.

 
..