Protection From Barn Fires

Barn fire prevention is essential. Below are recommendations to help minimize the likelihood of a barn catching fire. Most stable fires are ordinary combustibles such as hay burning. The next major cause of barn fires is electrical fires.

First, take steps to minimize fuel and ignition sources.

  • Store hay and organic bedding materials in a separate section of the barn or in another building.
  • Buy hay at the correct moisture (<17%) and check its condition frequently.
  • Store fuel and other combustible materials in a separate building
  • Keep the barn clean and free of cobwebs, trash, and dust
  • Do not leave space heaters unattended
  • Use lightning protection systems
  • The use of electrical equipment should be monitored regularly because fires can start from malfunction or improper use of such items. Fires can start from single-pail water heaters that short out.  Lights, lamps & household appliances containing heating elements, such as coffeepots, stoves, heating plates, etc., should be maintained & unplugged according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Evaluate electrical cords for faults of wear and age. Replace extension cords with new ones, use the correct cord length for the job, and only use heavy-duty 3-prong cords. Do not cover cords with rugs or mats.

Horse Barn Fire

Second, prepare ahead of time.

  • Post written emergency information at each phone
  • Keep halters and lead ropes easily accessible on stall doors
  • Post and enforce a no-smoking policy
  • Keep the barn neat and clean
  • Consider installing emergency lighting and lit exit signs

Install and know how to use the correct fire extinguisher

  • Place fire extinguishers in all barns, storage areas, and rooms where people congregate
  • Fire extinguishers should be placed within 50 - 75' of any location in the barn
  • Fill and check extinguishers regularly
  • Fire professionals may visit and evaluate a facility and make recommendations.

Fire Extinguisher

Photos Credit: Adobestock