Chicken Coop Brood Lamp Fire Hazards
Central Whdibey Fire & Rescue (CWIFR) recently responded to a fire that resulted in loss of a number of baby chicks and significant damage to a barn that was caused by ignition of combustible materials by a heat lamp used for brooding baby chicks. Brooding baby chicks with a heat lamp presents a fire hazard. The extent of the risk depends on several factors that you can control!
Avoid the use of low-cost clamp lights. The clamps are weak, the screw holding the swivel together tends to come undone, the sockets may not rated for 250-watt heat lamps, and they frequently don’t have heavy-duty cords.
Use a high-quality brooder lamp has special features to make it safe for brooding:
Heavy-duty porcelain lamp socket that can withstand the enormous heat of a 250-watt heat lamp.
Guard in the front of the lamp housing to prevent the lamp from directly contacting combustibles if it falls.
Loop instead of a clamp for hanging the lamp.
Use the brooder lamp correctly.
Suspend the lamp using a lightweight chain that is strong and resistant to heat.
Secure the power cord so that it will act as a safety if the chain suspending the lamp comes loose.
Maintain adequate distance between the lamp and combustible materials (see the manufacturers instructions for the lamp wattage you are using).
Use the minimum wattage lamp that will provide adequate heating. The higher the wattage the greater the heat output and the greater the risk of accidental ignition.