Q3) How can I prevent fires from occurring in my barn?
Few events are as tragic as a barn fire. One of the most crucial aspects of
preparing or designing a barn is installing a system of safeguards for fire
Fire protection should be built into every barn. Fire safety includes having
all wire the correct gauge and enclosed in conduit. If you are going to build
your barn consider building with a material that is not flammable, concrete block increases the safety factor. Wood, no matter what it is treated
with, can never be made totally fire-proof and grows more flammable with age.
Eliminate the causes and practices that start fires. Ban coffee pots and hot
plates - coffee pots are the number one source of barn fires. A no-smoking
policy in the barn should be strictly enforced. Large easy to read signs as well
as placing ashtrays at all entrances tells visitors to extinguish their cigars
and cigarettes before entering the barn. If you have a large barn with employees
make sure there are ashtrays on the grounds for them to use.
Tractors, weedeaters and lawnmowers should be maintained in good running
condition to eliminate stray sparks. This means that the mufflers and spark
arresters are working properly and checked regularly. They should never be
started up near barns. All gas cans, paints and solvents must be stored away
from the barn.
The hay storage building must be separate from the area where machinery is
stored. Hay must be dry before it is put into the building. Spontaneous
combustion due to wet hay remains a common cause of barn fires (see
Safety Question 1 )
Lastly, instructional meetings conducted by the Fire Department are a great
way to impress upon all people using the barn what their responsibilities are,
who to call in case of an emergency and what the emergency plan is for your
If you know of any other fire prevention tips that have not been listed,
please send us an email so that we may include them in the list. We can protect
ourselves and our horses more effectively if we know what the possibilities are.