For many horse owners, a barn fire is one of their biggest nightmares. From the thought of losing a member of the beloved herd to the monetary loss of property that occurs, a barn fire causes complete and utter destruction. When comes to barn fires, there is no way to ensure that you will not be affected by this tragic event, but there are many precautions that you can take in an effort to safeguard against this horrific disaster. Keep reading to learn more about the ways that you can protect your horses, livestock, and farm with these six helpful tips for preventing barn fires.
Check Wiring Regularly
Mice and other rodents love to nibble on wiring. This can prove to be a potential fire hazard. Inspect your barn wiring on a regular basis to ensure that it is not chewed on or frayed. Contact an electrician immediately if you notice any damage to the wiring.
Store Forage in a Separate Building
Whenever possible, hay and forage, including timothy hay for horses, should be stored in an area away from the animals (a separate building or shed is ideal). The low moisture levels of horse feed mean that it ignites quickly, making it fodder for a potential fire.
Make the Barn a Smoke-Free Zone
Smoking indoors is the easiest way to completely ignore proper fire safety in horse barns. It is important to designate your barn as a “Smoke-Free Zone” so that everyone understands that it will not be tolerated anywhere within the general vicinity. Additionally, this helps protect the physical wellbeing of animals and other workers.
Install Lightbulb Covers
The best way to keep lightbulbs free of dust, moisture, cobwebs, and breakage is to install lightbulb covers. These covers protect the lightbulbs while insulating the surrounding areas from excess heat.
Have the Required Safety Equipment
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there are some fire safety products that you should have installed in your barn. They recommend having: ABC-type fire extinguishers near every exit and within 50 feet from any point in the barn, a fire alarm system, a sprinkler system, and a carbon monoxide detection system (make sure to test these frequently to ensure they are all in working order).
Fire Drills are Held
The best way to prevent any combustions is by educating your employees about proper barn safety precautions on a regular basis. You can accomplish this by holding reoccurring fire drills. Discuss who is in charge of what in the event of a fire and make a plan to remove the horses and livestock in a safe and orderly fashion.
These six tips for preventing barn fires will ensure your property livestock, and its residents stay safe and successful. Your local fire department can also be an excellent resource when it comes to barn fire prevention. Invite them to come through and do a walk-through to look for potential fire hazards.
You want to discuss the possibility of having an equine-handling clinic at the barn so that the professional fire fighters will be more comfortable working around your animals. Many fire departments actively look for these learning opportunities and will appreciate the community support.