7 easy ways to prevent a horse barn fire
Over the last decade, about 1,000 barn fires have been reported each year. Sadly, the fires have caused both injury and death, as well as millions and millions of dollars in property damage.
Luckily, if you’re a well-informed horse owner, you can prevent these fires from happening in your barn. Spend a few minutes and do a quick walk-through of your barn. Here are the things you should look out for:
1. Appliances – One of the leading causes of barn fires are heat lamps. Make sure lamps and portable heaters are only used when necessary, and never left unattended. It’s not recommended to use extension cords in a barn, but if you have to, be sure to check these frequently for damage and replace as necessary.
2. Wiring – All wiring should be protected from corrosion and critters with metal or PVC conduit. As you’re walking around the barn, make sure this is the case. If not, they run the risk of sparking a flame and starting a fire.
3. Protect your barn against lightning by installing a grounded rod system. This leads lightning to strike the ground instead of the barn, thus preventing a fire.
4. Make sure there are fire extinguishers spread throughout your barn; at least one every 40 feet.
5. Install a sprinkler system. Although the upfront cost may be high, many insurance companies offer a premium discount for barns with sprinkler systems installed.
6. Install smoke detectors and check them regularly. You could also consider connecting these to a louder, external siren so you’ll be able to hear it even if you’re not in the horse barn.
7. Make sure your stored hay is dry and properly cured. Surprisingly, wet hay can actually cause a fire through spontaneous combustion.
Keeping the above tips in mind will result in a safer, fire-proof horse barn.