Q4) How should I prepare for and deal with the actual event of a
No matter how careful you are, you cannot rule out the chance that a fire may
start. No amount of precaution will entirely eliminate the possibility,
therefore you must prepare in 3 major ways: 1) Build safety into the barn so a
fire is not likely to start and if it does, it cannot spread quickly. 2) Have the
resources on hand to fight a fire until the fire department arrives. Such
resources are proper extinguishers for all kinds of fires, including gas and
electrical fires. 3) Have a fire plan and conduct regular drills for the people
who use the barn, so no time is wasted in an emergency when every second counts.
It is very important to have the proper fire extinguishers accessible and
charged. There should be one fire extinguisher at each entrance and one in the
office, tack room or warm room. Have the extinguishers inspected semi-annually.
All people who use the barn should be instructed in their use and drilled
Careful planning can mean the difference between a small mishap and a
disaster. Put an emergency information card with police, fire department and
ambulance numbers next to each telephone. Every person who uses the barn must
know how to contact the fire department and what information to give over the
phone. Every person who uses the barn should know how to operate the fire
extinguishers and go through fire drills regularly. Memorizing how to evacuate
the barn saves precious minutes.
Work with your local fire department and fire marshall in training persons
who use the barn. They are professionals and will offer valuable advice and
instruction free of charge. Acquaint them with the entire farm so they are
prepared in an emergency. Since some farms have several barns, entrances and
gates, you and the fire department must work out a code which explains where the
fire trucks need to go to get to each specific barn. After calling the fire
department in the case of a fire, one person should go out to the gate or end of
driveway to wait in case the fire department needs any further directions.
If you know of any other tips on dealing with a fire emergency 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.