Fireproofing Your Barn

We often think of protecting our homes, but how about our barns from fires? This past winter, some of our customers experienced the heartbreak of several barn fires in the local area, so we invited a local fire marshall to come speak about this topic at one of our educational sessions.  He offered us some excellent fire prevention tips.  He also reminded us of some property safety tips that we probably all knew but had either forgotten or let drift into the cobwebs of our minds.

One of the first tips that the local fire marshall gave us was don't use a lighter to try to thaw a frozen pipe!  It seems like common sense, but unfortunately, that was the cause of the one of the fires in a barn where several animals died.  Use a heat tape to keep heat on a pipe.  Better yet, consider installing a frost-proof waterer or a waterer with a properly installed electric heat source to provide water during bitterly cold temperatures.  We would be assist you in finding a Ritchie, Mirafount, or other branded waterer for you to meet your barn watering needs.

Most fires happen when someone is not at the barn or stable.  Have you ever asked yourself - Will the fire department and other authorities know what to do when they arrive at my property if a neighbor or passer-by spots the fire and calls 911 for assistance when I am not at home or perhaps unable to help responders?  Emergency numbers and other critical information should be posted in the barn aisle and near a phone if you have one in the barn.  Also, make sure the information is up-to-date.  It can save critical seconds.  Secondly, many localities now have a program where you can contact local authorities and provide them with appropriate contact information up front should an emergency call come to the 911 center for your address.  Go ahead and take the steps now to have your information on file before an emergency ever occurs.

Also, make sure your 911 address sign is properly posted at the road.  This seems like such a simple step, but many places are not as visible to emergency responders as the property owners think they are.  "View your driveway as if someone had to approach it for the very first time" was the tip the fire marshall offered.

Take a walk around and your premises to inspect for fire hazards a couple of times a year.  Often, it only takes a few minutes of your time.  Proper housekeeping as well as making sure debris, combustible material and weeds are cleared 30 feet from structures will aid in fire protection.  The fire marshall said that things lying around the building often create more damage and hazards than just the fire itself.

While this is not an event that anyone wants to experience or even talk about, make it a priority to complete the basic fire prevention steps and have emergency information on file.  At the very least, these fire prevention tips as well as other property safety tips should greatly reduce the risk of fire to your barn, your animals, and your family.  Nobody wants to watch their tractors, barns, precious animals and other hard-earned assets go up in smoke.  Hopefully, you will never have to experience such an emergency!!


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