"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Replace cotton string with metal chain





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Light Fixtures in Unsafe Locations
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WARNING: An incandescent light fixture, surface mounted or recessed, should never be installed in a closet, storage room or crawl space.

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Closet lights
. Do not install a light fixture in a closet UNLESS a door operated light switch (recessed into the door jam) is installed and UNLESS it is a compact fluorescent light fixture. Incandescent light bulbs become very hot, especially in a closet where a light, unintentionally left on, can burn for hours or even days. An incandescent light fixture installed too close to stored combustibles (clothes, boxes, Christmas decorations, etc.) WILL start a fire.

Even a completely enclosed incandescent light bulb needs a minimum clearance of 12" (300 mm) away from combustible materials. The solution is inexpensive and simple; install an enclosed compact fluorescent light fixture.
Recessed lights, or pot lights, should not come in contact with insulation material. Insulation should be kept away a safe distance from the light fixture to prevent overheating and fires. To prevent heat loss a large box can be built over the fixture which then can be insulated.
Heat lamp. This is another type of recessed light fixture which can cause a fire if not properly installed.





Worst offender: Incandescent closet light
In addition to adequate clearance from insulation, they should also be kept away from the door swing.If not, hanging clothes or towels slung over the door could ignite and start a fire.
The heat lamp should be installed at least 18" (450 mm) away from the door swing. These figures should be checked against local codes.

A loose or missing light fixture is a potential hazard to people and property. Loose fixtures should be properly secured and cover plates should be installed where a fixture has been removed.
Pull-chain light fixtures. A cotton pull string can burn through in a very short time and start a fire. Make sure that the pull chain is indeed a metal chain and not a cotton string.

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