Barn Fire Protection Plan By Emily Konkel
The risk of a barn fire can significantly increase during the summer time due to lightning strikes and spontaneous combustion of hay and compost. Electrical wiring problems and rodents chewing through the wiring can also cause barn fires. Wood, hay, shavings, straw and aerosol cans can double the size of a fire every minute. You essentially have between five to eight minutes to evacuate a barn before it is completely engulfed in flames and unsafe to enter. For the safety of your horses and barn staff, create a barn fire protection plan.
• Store hay and shavings in a separate barn
– If possible, do not store your hay in a horse barn. If hay has been bailed and is wet, it will spontaneously combust and start a fire. If you have wet hay, break open the bail and allow it to dry out in an area far away from your horse barn. Shavings will increase the fire greatly if they are stored in the horse barn.
• Check electrical wiring
– Rodents are known to chew through the coating on electrical wires. To prevent this, encase all of your electrical wires in metal conduits.
• Create easy access to halters and lead ropes
– Make sure that each stall has a halter and lead rope on it for the horse. Do not let these get tangled and messy. You should be able to access them quick and easy.
• Move manure piles away from the horse barn
– Decomposing manure is also a threat to horse barns. The manure will generate heat as it decomposes and can ignite.
• Store tractors and lawn mowers in different barns
– Do not store your tractors or mowers in your horse barn. The heat from them can start a fire.
• Keep your barn clean
– Clean your barn often to remove dust, feed sacks, cobwebs and discarded hay. If a fire has already started in your barn, here are a few steps to help you save as many lives as possible.
1. Call the fire department
- The absolute first thing you must do is call the fire department. Allow them to get on the road to your location ASAP.
2. Get the horses out as fast as you can without risking the lives of humans
- This can be a difficult decision to make because barn fires can spread quickly.
3. Know when enough is enough
- If your eyes are burning/watering and you find yourself coughing, get out immediately. Unfortunately, chances are the horses that are left in the barn have already died from smoke inhalation.
4. Use a fire extinguisher and hose safely
- If the fire is just beginning, you may be able to put it out with a fire extinguisher or a hose. If the barn is already engulfed in flames, don’t waste time trying to put it out by yourself.
5. Step aside when the firefighters arrive
- Let them handle putting out the fire when they get there and do not get in their way. According to Laurie Loveman, a barn fire expert, there have been more than 200 barn fires in the United States and Canada in the past year. Don’t let yours be another number. Take precautions and be safe!
For more information on barn fires visit: http://americashorsedaily.com/
To learn more about Laure Loveman’s fire safety in barns visit: http://firesafetyinbarns.com/#sthash.pVBzAIxP.dpuf