Fires caused by improperly installed lights in coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rosco, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. rosco

    rosco Songster

    Nov 24, 2009
    Texas Panhandle
    I'm missing something. i'd like to put light in the chicken coop to both provide heat and stimulate them to lay eggs. But putting an ignition source in a shed full of dry hay just doesn't seem like the best idea. even the dust from the hay could serve as fuel for a flash fire.

    i'd love to know of a way to provide lighting without creating a serious fire hazard.

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009

  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    lighting? CFB - heat can't help much, heat sources = fire hazard.
  3. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Hay? Isnt that on the non-recommended list anyway? We use wood shavings.

    For regular light, no problem, just make sure it is suspended - we use a CFC light which generates almost no heat.

    For heat, we used a heat lamp suspended, but we did have one near miss with it burning through treated lumber after the chooks pushed it out of place.

    Since, DH was planning on an oil filled heater, the kind you use in rooms?? The heaters do generate heat, but not enough to create fire. And if it is tipped over it automatically goes out. It will be on a small platform anyway to keep it above the shavings.

    Does that help any?
  4. Margot

    Margot In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2009
    Paw Paw, MI
    RE Lights in the Hen House - I have 2 coops that don't have any electricity to them. I am tired of balancing scoops of feed, a flashlight, a basket for eggs every time I go in. Here in Michigan it is getting dark by 5:00 so by the time I get home from work it is dark when doing chores. I did some investigating and I have ordered a solar light from Amazon. It has a small dish that sits on top and and LED light that installs inside. No wiring, no electricity. It was only $25-30...not sure how it will work, but it was worth a try. I will let everyone know how it works out and if it provides enough light.

    Margot in Michigan
  5. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Solar lights have a tendency to 'gow' rather then light-

    There are battery operated stick on led lights too if you want.
  6. Tony K T

    Tony K T Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Heating your coop is a bad idea.When chickens molt they produce their winter plumage which has a lot of down.When you give them heat they do not produce enough down to keep them warm.If you lose electricity,your birds will not have the proper insulation to keep them warm.This will surely not be good for them.Just keep their coop free from drafts and they will be fine.
    In N.H.,Tony.
  7. mightieskeeper

    mightieskeeper Songster

    Mar 6, 2009
    Clio Michigan
    The best way to light your coop safely is to install a permanent light fixture. The unit is screwed to a plastic gang box. Chickens can not knock it over.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Are you talking about just a plain ol' lightbulb (e.g. 60w) for lighting? There is no real safety problem there if (although for backyard coops this can be a big 'if') all the wiring is done correctly. A bulb only becomes a source of ignition if it is extremely high wattage (which normal lighting is not) or if it is broken and the glowing filament contacts combustables *real quick* before cooling down. If you are still concerned, use the sealed jelly-jar style fixtures often used in barns, so that no dust or moisture can get in to contact the bulb or socket and so that there is essentially zero chance of the bulb accidentally being broken.

    If you are talking a high wattage bulb for *heat*, e.g. a 250w bulb, then yes, they are a bit of a fire hazard and should only be used when no other option is available, and then they should be used with all due prudence. This includes fastening them to two different secure points of structure by two different chains or metal cables going to two different parts on the lamp; making sure they are at least 18" from ANY combustables including bedding, walls, ceilings, etc; using the wire guard; keeping them free of dust and cobwebs, esp. if it's been a while since you last turned it on; and using the lowest wattage bulb possible (often a 250 is unnecessarily big).

    Rather than relying on a lamp for HEAT, I would suggest investing your time and energy (and money -- those big-wattage bulbs are not cheap to run!) on improving OTHER heat-collecting and heat-retaining features of your coop. Much safer, and usually cheaper too. I have a whole page on this, see the last link in my .sig below.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    hill country texas
    Quote:I had this same issue. After a sneak attack and body slam from my happy [​IMG] black Great Dane one night [​IMG] and laying on the ground wondering how a Mac truck got on the back of the property [​IMG] I asked my DS to put a spot light on our shop building that is near the coops. It helps alot but I still have to use a flash light when getting the eggs and adding food to feeders. At least he can't sneak up on me again!
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I hope you post how the solar lights work. I too have a coop far from electricity and have thought about that doing that solar lighting thing. We do have solar lights set up in our saddle shed and while not bright, they do let you see. mk

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