Whether you’re new to owning pet reptiles or experienced with several different pets, you should always aim to have pet and environment safety at the top of your priority list. After all, there is certain equipment that, in some cases, can pose a potential threat to your pet. One of these pieces of equipment is reptile heat lamps.
Heat lamps play a vital role in keeping your pet reptile happy and healthy. However, when set up incorrectly, they pose a serious risk of overheating your pet, which often results in death. Not only that, but many people fear that the extreme heat poses the risk of starting a fire in their house or apartment.
So, can a reptile heat lamp start a fire? The simple answer is yes, a reptile heat lamp can start a fire in your home. However, there are many precautions you can take to minimize this risk.
How Can A Reptile Heat Lamp Start A Fire?
These days, fires started by heat lamps are less common. However, they can still happen in the right scenario. But what exactly is this scenario, and how do reptile heat lamp fires happen?
Most of the time, a heat lamp fire is caused by a pet that somehow dragged the lamp down into its enclosure. If the décor or substrate is easily flammable, then they eventually ignite over time.
This can lead to a small-sized fire engulfing the enclosure which then poses the risk of catching something else around it on fire. In the right scenario, this can escalate to being a full-on house fire.
This can also happen without your pet reptile pulling the heat lamp down into its enclosure. If you have your heat lamp surrounded by any flammable objects, they can also ignite and start the beginning of a larger fire.
Steps to Prevent Fires Caused by Heat Lamps
There are many steps you can take to prevent a fire from starting in your home because of your reptile heat lamp. Below are some tips:
- Use a ceramic heat emitter instead of a heat lamp.
- If you do use a heat lamp, make sure it’s well out of your pet’s reach. The further away the better.
- Avoid using any flammable objects near the heat lamp. This includes things like newspapers, wood shavings, and upholstered furniture.
- Inspect the wiring on your heat lamps regularly. If there are any frayed wires, replace the heat lamp immediately.
- Don’t use any exposed light bulbs as heat lamps. These are a major fire hazard and should be avoided at all costs.
- Invest in a quality surge protector for your heat lamps. This will help to prevent any electrical fires from starting.
By following the tips above, you can significantly reduce the risk of a fire starting in your home because of your reptile heat lamp. Remember, safety should always be your number one priority when it comes to owning a pet reptile.
Safest Reptile Heat Lamps
How Long Should A Reptile Heat Lamp Stay On?
To avoid the risk of a fire or overheating, try and keep a rotation of 12 hours on and 12 hours off with your heat lamp. These numbers can vary based on the type of heat lamp that you have, but in general you never want to rely on just leaving one lamp on 24/7, especially if the lamp is responsible for providing UVB to your pet.
Many reptile owners choose two carry two heat lamps so they can switch between the two. Others choose to supplement the down time with a heating pad in the bottom of the tank. This can also be beneficial if you only need to provide UVB for your pet during daylight hours, as over exposure can lead to skin and eye damage for your pet, as well as pose a risk for vitamin D3 overdose.