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Is a tortoise table a fire hazard?

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Rhiannon, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Rhiannon

    Rhiannon Member

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    Hi everyone! You folks were so helpful with another question I had recently that I thought I'd bring up a concern on my mind. After careful research into indoor spaces for Hermann's tortoises, my husband built a big, open toirtoise table out of untreated wood, which I filled with soil, rocks, plants, a big ceramic plate for water, and tile for a food dish. The lamp is one of those big heat/UV combination bulbs (the brand name is slipping my mind).

    The concern that's been creeping into my thoughts over the years is whether or not the wood/heat bulb combination is a fire hazard. I read something once that said over time, a potentially flammable material like natural wood become more of a fire hazard as it dries out, etc.

    It looks like lots of folks on here use homemade tables for their torts, so I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or advice on the fire hazard issue.
  2. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    There have been cases where untended heat lamps caused fires. I don't think there is much risk of the wood catching fire. I think fires are caused when the lamps get knocked over onto carpets or something flammable.
  3. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    From what I've read, the most common cause of fires in enclosures seems to be when the clamps that grip some heat lamps fail. Then the substrate or enclosure could catch fire, the lamps are seriously hot. Properly secured fixed lights should be fine.
  4. MuffinTort

    MuffinTort New Member

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    In my wood pen, I cut a 8" circular hole at the top and screwed the 10" lamp housing to it. On the underside of the opening, I stapled a piece of window mesh (anything perforated to allow heat to pass would help). In the case that the heat emitter / light bulb cracks or breaks, the mesh will catch it in lieu of falling into the substrate or on the tortoise. This isn't 100% fire proof, but just a simple solution to prevent any dry substrate from getting in contact with the heat source and vice versa.

    I actually replaced the light bulb recently too. Instead of un-stapling the mesh, I unscrewed the housing from the top and replaced it there; then screwed the housing back on.

    Hope this helps.
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