Although I am new to chickens, and am facing all the worries a lot of us are about keeping the chickens warm this winter is slamming me in the face for the first time, I am SERIOUSLY worried about all of the people talking about using different heating elements in ways not recommended by the manufacturers. Seeing mentions of heat tape, heat bulbs and ceramic heat emitters being used this way REALLY worries me. I also raise and breed a few different species of reptiles, and have LOTS of experience with finding ways to properly heat an enclosure. Being a firefighter also makes me worry a lot about some of the obvious fire hazards people are creating with these elements. Heat tape WILL catch on fire if not properly regulated with a thermostat and if it is exposed to water. Please do NOT use heat tape to do anything but keep your pipes from freezing (or heating a good snake enclosure). Most people have NO idea how to properly install heat tape, and leaving just one part open that is not to be exposed can cause serious issues. There is a lot to installing heat tape, and having something attached to an open container that holds water...I cringe even thinking about it. Ceramic heat emitters (the ones that produce heat but no light) can also be extremely dangerous - remember, it is not the LIGHT that causes fire hazards, but the amount of HEAT they produce. CHE's produce an INSANE amount of heat, and any dust collecting on them may very well start a fire. Also, as stated by someone else, you MUST use a fixture with a ceramic holder, NOT a metal or plastic one, as they can/will melt and cause another fire hazard. Even those of us reptile keepers that keep animals requiring around 100+ degree temps don't use anything more than a 40-60 watt CHE, and even then it's pushing it. Also, read the instructions on the box - it gives very specific information about the distance to keep those things from anything that could catch fire. I'll say it again - HEAT creates fire, NOT LIGHT. Heat bulbs are a really good way to get heat into an enclosure, sure, but ONLY if they are monitored and regulated properly. Putting them hanging from a chain or string or something similar swinging around in an area that is very dusty, has chicken feathers floating around, and god knows what else in there trying to get warm is a REAL way to start a fire (much less an injury hazard to your birds). Again, these bulbs produce an incredible amount of heat in a very concentrated area, and people are thinking about putting them in areas with litter, feathers and flimsy ways to secure them....it makes me want to cry. Although I am still somewhat struggling with how to make sure my gang is warm in the winter, I have to keep reminding myself that they are CHICKENS, not people, and that they can tolerate MUCH harsher weather and temps that I could even imagine. As so many people have recommended, use insulation, plastic wrap, tarps, good ventilation and other good sense, NON FIRE HAZARD ways to get your coop warm!! Stay safe, keep your chickens safe, and we will ALL get through this horrible cold time together with flying colors!!