A barn fire. Your horses trapped inside... Summer and their storms have arrived. Hot, dry weather coupled with lightning strikes could leave you with The Unthinkable happening to you. Did you know, for instance, that static electricity could catch cobwebs on fire in the barn rafters? Or that abandoned bird nests make excellent kindling?
Barn designs haven’t really changed over the past several decades but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help prevent a fire. If you aren’t sure how well your barn is protected, contact your local fire station and have them help you devise a plan. In the mean time, here are some suggestions:
Remember to keep the aisles clear of tack boxes and hay bales to help firefighters move around. Plus, use latches that can be easily opened with gloves on.
Use reflective tape to mark stall doors so that even in black smoke, the horses can be easily found and lead outside. Put them in a paddock far away from the barn and make sure the gate is securely closed. Horses have been known to return to their stall even in a burning barn.
Lastly, devise an evacuation plan and then implement practice fire drills. See how long it really takes you to get all your horses out to safety. You might be surprised to discover it takes far more time than you imagined.
Here’s a useful link for natural disaster planning, including wildfires, tornadoes and hurricanes. Disaster Preparedness
We hope you find these suggestions helpful. Please have a safe and fire-free summer this year and every year.
* The information provided here is intended to be a brief summary. Please contact Star H Equine Insurance and/or review your policy for more detailed information.
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