Preventing Fires in Your Horse Stable
Barn fires are a very real and very frightening possibility. Here are some tips for preventing fires in your horse stable.
Enforcing fire safety precautions around the stable is a great way to take the first step towards protecting the people and horses on your property. Some of the best barn fire safety precautions include:
- Keep wash bays, crossties, and aisles free of loose hay and straw
- Install lightning rods on the roofs of the buildings on the property; this will help eliminate the risk of fire started by lightning strikes
- Keep all electrical work in the barn up to code and have any electrical work done by a licensed professional, no matter how small the job
- Ensure that only heavy-duty extension cords are used inside the barn and that they are always unplugged when finished being used
- Clean all fans inside the barn every two or three months
- Prohibit smoking on the property (even outside the barn or in cars)
- Eliminate clutter; ensure that there is nothing in the aisles or doorways, and make sure that the tack room is always well-organized
- If possible, make sure that all straw and hay is stored away from the main barn. Older barns often have hayloft storage areas above the stalls, but it is really best to keep the hay stored in a separate building altogether; this greatly minimizes the risk of fire
Fire Safety Plan
Keeping everyone up to date with your fire safety precautions and having a proactive fire safety plan is the best way to ensure the safety of both the humans and horses on the property.
Develop a plan for emergency evacuation in the case that there is a fire. Designate specific exit points for each area of the barn, and keep fire extinguishers in accessible areas around the barn.
Ensure that all individuals who frequent your facility are familiar with your plan. Hanging written notices and having frequent fire safety drills is a great way to keep everyone up to date with the plan and to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible in the event of an emergency.
It’s a good idea to keep halters and lead ropes right outside each horse’s stall, whether it be on the door or on a hook. This helps ensure that in the case of an emergency, it won’t be necessary to scramble to find a lead for each horse to lead them to safety; the halter and lead rope will be immediately available to allow a quick and safe exit.
Fires in the stables are a frightening concept, but following the tips you’ve learned here, you will be well-equipped to keep everyone in your barn safe.
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