Please reassure me that heat lamps are safe!!!


10 Years
May 4, 2009
Wallingford, CT
I set up my brooder tonight because my chickies are due within the next few days. I'm super paranoid about leaving lights on as it is, so the thought of leaving a heat lamp running 24/7 is FREAKING ME OUT! Are you guys sure they are safe? I have a house full of beloved animals and I'm worried about a fire while I'm at work. Please tell me it'll be fine!
Since you sound extremely paranoid... I'm assuming you take heat lamps seriously and have made the area fire-safe, right?
As long as common sense and safety are involved, there should be no problem. My heat lamp has been on for about 3 months now due to hatches spaced 28 days apart. No fires yet!
Nothing touching the lamp, lamp secure, no curtains or papers or flammable material in proximity, etc.
I don't have any problems with mine - just be smart & careful.
Good luck!
Well, I've never had any trouble with my heat lamps (knock on wood a BUNCH of times!!
) - just make sure the wires aren't frayed anywhere, and the prongs on the plug are secure and not loose. One thing I don't use is the guard they give you with the lamp. I actually had a chick get stuck in one, and it didn't end in his favor
I'm sure that was just a freak accident, but just thought I'd put it out there for you to consider. Trust me, if I didn't think it was safe, I wouldn't have chicks because I wouldn't have the light. I'm very paranoid about fires as we also have 3 dogs a pig and a few fish in the house... I can't imagine anything ever happening to them. All in all, I wouldn't be too concerned. Enjoy your babies while they are babies!
Just make sure the heat lamps you have are meant to be left on, ie, they are ceramic or metal based, not plastic shop lamps. Second, in most places at this time of year, just use a 100W bulb. I use a 100W bulb outside in a small 2x4 hutch when it is literally 30-40F outside for day olds, so unless you have a whole shed type brooder, that 250W of standard heat lamps is overkill. Oh, and secure it by something other than just the clamp, as those can fail.
That's what I figured, but....LOL.

I was thinking about how many members here use them constantly and trying to convince myself that if they were dangerous I'd probably hear about it on a regular basis. Right?

What about the shavings and paper towels in the brooder? Right now I have the lamp clipped to a wooden shelf. Should that be safe or should I just rest it on the metal grate that covers my brooder? How hot is hot enough to start a fire?

My bulb is 100 watts. I mean, these things are designed to be left on for extended periods, right???
There are also Ceramic Heaters that work like a hot bulb, you can get them in most pet stores they are much safer but they are also a lot more expensive.
but if you fear fire ( like most of us do) I would go with Ceramic heaters.
Rachel!!!!! You know where to ask!!LOL

Just make sure it does not fall into the brooder and it will be fine! Also after a week or so you will notice a nice white dusting on it
, make sure you clean it off at least once a week! I am so excited for you and your new chicks! Remember to put marbles in the water too!

I've been using heat lamps for years and have had no problems. I make double certain that they are extra secure by using wire/chains to tie them up with. I also don't use anything higher than a 150w bulb as those 250w ones get hotter than I'm comfortable with when allowing them to run 24/7.

I've had as many as 5 lamps going at a time and so far so good. Poultry heat lamps are designed to run 24/7, but the desk side lamps you would buy at WalMart are not, so it's always good to invest a little more money in the product that is designed for the job. Keep the area around the lamp clear and take the precautions that the others have mention and you should be good to go.

Urban Coyote

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