10 Fire Preparedness Tips for Horse Owners:
Print, laminate and keep this checklist in the barn as a safety reminder.
1. Install a fire alarm in the barn; they are most effective near combustible areas like the feed or tack room.
2. Place basic firefighting equipment—such as hoses, fire extinguishers, ladders, shovels, rakes— near but not inside the barn.
3. Have a water source available outside the barn.
4. Light fixtures, fans, electrical sockets and electrical cords are often the cause of fires. Inspect these regularly to make sure they are not frayed or damaged.
5. Unplug all electrical equipment that is not needed when you are away from the barn. For example, fans used in the summer do not need to remain plugged in during the winter months.
6. Keep all flammable materials such as paint and aerosol cans outside of the barn. Matches and lighters should not be kept in the barns.
7. Hay, straw, alfalfa and other feeds are highly combustible. Remind visitors not to smoke in or near barns.
8. Have identification papers on site in case horses are turned loose during a fire and must be identified later.
9. Keep your barn and the surrounding area tidy and readily accessible should a fire break out. Do not block evacuation routes in the barn aisle.
10. Create a fire evacuation plan and practice moving all livestock to safety. The best prevention is awareness.