How to install thermal insulation around electrical equipment


SANS 10400-XA Energy usage in buildings will be promulgated soon and one of the energy efficiency interventions which will become mandatory is the installation of thermal insulation in buildings.
As a member of the Thermal Insulation Association of South Africa (TIASA) we have to caution contractors regarding electrical safety issues when installing thermal insulation. Thermal insulation installers are required to take additional safety measures to protect themselves and home/building owners. Even DIY enthusiasts must prevent or minimise the associated health and safety risks when installing ceiling insulation.
For example:
  • Electrical shocks or burns due to damaged electrical cables, exposed electrical equipment, damages caused by cutting, nailing etc, energised foil insulation through electrical contact
  • Fire resulting from material near recessed lights
  • And other related health and safety risks
 We recommend that installers apply certain measure that will minimise safety risks when installing bulk insulation. Avoid damaging cables when installing conductive material like foil insulation and overheating of electrical fittings by smothering it with bulk thermal insulation.
The correct thermal insulation around electrical accessories such as recessed or down lights is essential. Default minimum clearances for these recessed lights are important to follow i.e. the clearance to thermal insulation for incandescent lamp is 50mm from the down light and 200mm from a halogen lamp. Barrier is required for loose fill insulation or loose combustible materials.
Download pictures of what happens when installing incorrectly: public/global/img/Alert_leaflet_photographs.pdf
Download the Alert notice from TIASA:   public/global/img/file/Tiasa%20Alert_leaflet.pdf