How To Prevent Horse Barn Fires
Do you know how long you have to respond to a fire emergency in your horse barn before it gets out of control?
You have 3 MINUTES to respond to a horse barn fire emergency before it gets out of control, according to Dr. Dana Lerner of Champaign, IL, Here are ways to make your barn more fire-safe:
- Do not allow smoking anywhere on the premises.
- Have fire several extinguishers mounted in prominent places, and make sure the are rated ABC, 10 lb minimum. Also have a 100 ft heavy grade water hose.
- Have outside access to your electrical system so the fire dept can turn it off without going into the barn. Have it checked annually.
- Be sure your stored hay has an ideal moisture level of 15-18%. Any more than that and it can spontaneously combust. The greatest risk is usually 15-18 days after cutting.
- Try to avoid having large manure piles anywhere on your property. Heat temperatures in the center of the pile can be high enough to spontaneously combust. Many barn fires have been caused by manure piles that are either too large, too close to the barn, or both.
- Landline phones must be grounded and the barn must have a lightning rod attached. Lightning strikes cause barn fires. (See lightning.org)
- Fans must be cleaned frequently. Cobwebs and dust are highly flammable.
- Fire retardant treated wood is less flammable than metal. Nylon halters will melt on your horse’s face. Leather is better.
Copyright Denise Cummins, PhD Feb 2009; Updated Jan 23, 2020
The Thinking Equestrian