Tube / rope lighting fire risk

31st July 2007

Tube / rope lighting fire risk

Initial Report

Report Text: 

I am the Designated Person for a private yacht (the yacht holds ISM certification).

The crew reported a near miss.

“Rope lighting overheated and charred.  This was installed as hidden lighting very close to the deck head – could have started a fire.

This is a recurring problem which has been witnessed many times with this type of lighting by the reporting engineer.”

The lighting is 230V, 16.4W and the markings appear to indicate it reaches a temperature of 80C. It is CE marked.  The lighting is fitted in a trench at high level close to the deck head.  The lighting has to be bent to get it to pass around the corners of the cabin or public area.

I understand that numerous yachts have this fitted with and it may be worth highlighting the risks.

CHIRP Comment:

This issue was raised with the MCA, who after investigation provided the following:

“The manufacturer provides a large range of tube type lighting for various purposes and it is not clear from the letter exactly which type of lighting was used thus it is difficult to determine if the lighting was fit for purpose.

However having checked the data sheets supplied by the manufacturer on their web site it appears that they have products both incandescent and LED suitable for mounting in channels and capable of being bent to tight radiuses.

As part of their product range they can supply a channel for the mounting flexible incandescent lighting which I would assume as the highest operating temperature and thus it would appear that this lighting would be fit for purpose described.

Therefore we propose that we publish a brief MIN/MGN regarding the use of decorative lighting on vessels stating that:

  • It should be fit for the intended purpose.
  • Installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.”

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