Up until a couple of years ago, when I was involved with a home remodel that involved a lot of recessed lighting, I never really thought about the fire risk involved. I’ve always liked recessed high-hats, but my musings about them pretty much always went along the lines of: “Wow, those look nice,” and “When will I be able to afford lighting like that?” On the other hand, watching them being installed makes you realize a couple of things that should be, but often aren’t, obvious characteristics of can light fixtures.
First of all, when they run for any length of time, lightbulbs get hot. Which brings me to my second point: when it comes to recessed lighting, all of that bulb-generated heat is building up inside your ceiling. See any potential for problems there? To be fair, can lights are called “can lights” because they’re enclosed in a (you guessed it) can-like structure that provides a measure of safety by isolating the hot bulb from surrounding building materials. But once in a while, a recessed lighting fire does break out, and it’s a smart idea to have some backup in place just in case that flaming light fixture happens to be in your home or business.
That’s where Tenmat fire-rated lighting covers come in handy. These cup-shaped mineral fiber coverings actually fit around each high hat, to provide extra insulation between light fixtures and ceiling materials. And in the event that fire does occur, they intumesce (that is, expand and char upon exposure to high heat) to seal out smoke and prevent your ceiling from igniting. It’s a simple preventive measure to take, but it can ultimately prevent or greatly reduce fire spread and structural damage.