It is possible to have a gratifying and exciting experience when working with reptiles and bearded dragons, but there are risks involved as well. A typical source of danger is the use of a heat lamp to provide heat for your pet. Reptiles require regular heating to be able to thermoregulate their internal body temperature.
Was it ever brought to your attention that a bearded dragon heat lamp has the potential to start a fire? No matter how many times you have used it without accident, it is always a good idea to double-check to make sure you are not placing yourself or your beardies in any danger.
Here are some guidelines on how to use heat lamps safely and when to provide your bearded dragon with the required light and heat.
Table of Contents
- How can bearded dragon heat lamps cause fires?
- What can you do to prevent heat lamp fires?
- Should I leave my bearded dragon heat lamp on at night?
How can bearded dragon heat lamps cause fires?
The theory behind the “fire triangle,” or “combustion triangle,” holds that for fire to ignite, three things are required: heat, fuel, and oxygen. The heat lamp is the heat source here, oxygen is in the air, and the fuel is pine shavings or hay, which are both commonly used in brooder bedding. A firestorm will undoubtedly result if you combine these three factors.
Loose connections or using too much wattage for the size of the enclosure are the most prevalent causes of flames in bearded dragon heat lamps. Faulty wiring can also happen when there are too many lights in one area or when a light is too close to a plastic object that gives off fumes from time to time.
Over time, some of the equipment in this configuration may have issues, such as the electrical cord fraying, which exposes the live copper wire that transmits electrical currents. If they fall on the bedding, the sparks from this exposure could cause a fire.
Carelessness is virtually always the root cause of fires involving heat lamps, and it is almost always owing to the incorrect way in which heat lamps are installed in brooders. This is the most popular cause of accidents throughout the world, and what’s worse is that it can be completely avoided if adequate measures are followed at all times.
What can you do to prevent heat lamp fires?
Glass terrariums are used for bearded dragons because they allow the animal to have a habitat that is much like their natural environment. The only downside, however, is that glass terraria can be dangerous if left unattended around heat lamps. It’s best to always keep an eye on your pet and make sure it doesn’t come into contact with any potential fire hazards in its home so you don’t lose your little buddy!
Here are some tips on how you can prevent your pet from catching on fire:
- Heat lamps should be placed at least 12 inches away from the animal and should never be left on for more than 12 hours at a time.
- Add a timer to the heat lamp so that it automatically switches off after a certain time has passed. That way, if the bearded dragon gets too close, the fire from the heat lamp will go out on its own instead of going out underwater and needing people to rescue it.
- Heat lamp fires occur when the bulb gets too hot. The best way to protect your beardie from heat lamps is to get a clip-on insect screen for the lamps and place low-temperature bulbs on them.
- Put your heat lamps on a sturdy table so that they are less likely to fall. Beardies are very sensitive to temperature and will escape if their enclosure is too hot. So be sure that the table your light is on isn’t close enough to any doors or walls.
- Ascertain that heat lamps are put in areas where they are sufficiently separated from combustibles to prevent the ignition from occurring. Keep in mind that wooden building pieces will ultimately dry out and catch fire if exposed to a heat source.
- Utilize the correct wattage heat light for your terrarium’s size. For a 20-gallon terrarium, a 150-watt heat bulb is not necessary. That heat lamp is too powerful for a terrarium of that size. The bearded dragon will be in close contact with the heat lamp, which could result in minor burns. Ask your local reptile doctor or pet store for help if you’re unclear what bulb size is suitable for your terrarium.
Should I leave my bearded dragon heat lamp on at night?
The provision of heat for your dragon is not required in most cases unless you live in a region where your house gets chilly in the evenings (below sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit). You should keep in mind that, because his terrarium has been kept warm during the day, his cage will also retain some heat on its own.
Even though the daylight hours are long, bearded dragons, like many other creatures, require rest during the overnight hours to survive. There are a variety of reasons why this relaxation is necessary. Resting times are necessary for the support of the growth, development, digestion, reproduction, and practically all other biological functions that occur during this time.
Due to the disruption of these processes, your bearded dragon may suffer from major health problems if you are unable to allow him to rest totally for an extended period. Compaction, constipation, and prolapse can all be caused by food that has not been digested. Skeletal difficulties and deformations could emerge from unsupported growth and development of the child. To live an active, healthy, and satisfying life, all animals need to get enough sleep and rest.
Because bearded dragons are light-sensitive, they likely didn’t get enough sleep last night. The bearded dragon may continue to feel exposed to predators if the light is left on and the temperature remains high overnight. This will limit the bearded dragon’s ability to rest.
As a result, it is critical to turn off heat lamps at night so that the temperature can drop to evening levels, allowing for better sleep. Allow them to return to their normal schedule by keeping the lamps on during the day.
Bearded dragons do not like the sun, so you need to be cautious not to put a bearded dragon heat lamp too close to the animal. If you choose a metal bulb, be sure to use a metal dome to keep the bulb from coming into contact with the mesh.
Bear in mind that white lights should not be used at night because bearded dragons require darkness to sleep properly. You should also check that the cords are compatible with the heat lamp’s power.
In addition, be sure to check the material of the ornaments – if they are plastic, make sure they can handle the heat. When you do not trust the heat lamp in your barn, stop and check it out. A few minutes may save your pets, livestock, or even home!
Are ceramic heat lamps safe around bearded dragons?
Absolutely! Because they do not emit light, ceramic heat emitters are suitable for providing heat throughout the evening hours. This will provide the bearded dragon with radiant nocturnal heat while also preventing sleep disturbances.
Is it safe to leave a bearded dragon heat lamp on all days?
In addition to calcium supplements, heat lights should be utilized during the day and turned off at night to prevent dehydration of the skin.
It is not recommended to leave the bearded dragon heat lamp on all of the time because this can lead to another condition, hypercalcemia (too much calcium). So, a good rule is to set the lamp and daytime light/heat on for 12 hours, then turn them off for 12 hours.