The onset of colder weather often has barn owners bringing out the extension cords, stocking up on hay, and using heating devices in tack rooms and water buckets. Unfortunately, these all increase the risk of barn fires. Follow these safety tips to extinguish your likelihood of this disaster and keep your horses protected!
- No smoking! Even if you’re not a smoker insist that visitors and friends follow the rule. Signs are helpful, but still plan on keeping a careful eye on those on your property.
- Remove combustibles from the barn. That would include things like fly spray, liniments, cleaners, and other flammable products often found in wash stalls and tack rooms.
- Store hay, straw, and sawdust in small amounts with larger quantities found in a separate storage barn.
- Remove any hay that is very warm to the touch. It is more than likely holding a lot of moisture and could be combustible.
- Clean up your barn by removing cobwebs, loose hay, empty feed bags, hay twine, and anything else in the aisle that could catch fire or impede a quick exit.
- Check and double check electrical cords and outlets. Unplug appliances after usage and store in a safe area. If you have to use extension cords, only use heavy-duty industrial type and unplug when finished.
- Make sure to have a plan. If disaster was to strike, know your exit locations and where to find a fire extinguisher.
While these tips will certainly reduce the risk of barn fires, you will still need to diligently monitor your choices when cold weather strikes. In the end, the safety of you and your horse is top priority.