FIRE CHIEF: Be Safe When Using Heat Lamps to Keep Animals Warm

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 01/28/2019 - 01:04
The picture attached shows three different types of heat lamps. Starting from the left is the most common and least safe, affording to Fire Chief Craig Hoeft. The middle lamp safer and the one on the right is the safest of the heat lamps.

As temperatures dip, people use heat lamps to keep animals warm in their barns. But improperly using a heat lamp can put those animals in jeopardy, cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, and even put people’s lives in danger. That’s why Saline Fire Chief Craig Hoeft wants people to follow common procedures when using lamps this winter.

“It seems every year we have a fire caused by a heat lamp. It would be great to have everyone follow these safety tips to keep their animals and property safe,” Hoeft said. "Be safe, Saline."

The following information comes recommended by Chief Hoeft from a Spokane fire department blog.

Heat lamps work as advertised, pumping out heat as long as they’re on with no regard for combustibles.  The following will help to reduce the hazards posed by heat lamps for pets and livestock:

  • Use UL-listed heat lamps and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Heat lamps with guards may provide some protection if the lamp falls into combustible bedding.
  • Ensure heat lamps are installed in locations where they are far enough from any combustibles to preclude ignition.  Remember that wooden construction elements will eventually dry out and ignite from a heat lamp too.
  • Ensure the installation is secure and the light cannot be knocked down.
  • Run cords in locations where animals cannot reach them.
  • Make sure electrical circuits are not overloaded.  Heat lamps use more amperage than regular lights.
  • Keep all combustibles away from heat lamps and ensure kids doing chores are aware of the hazards.
  • Check the lamp and mounting periodically to ensure it is secure.

For more on heat lamps, see this story.

Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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