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Fire Safety: More Than “No Smoking” Signs in the Horse BarnBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · July 17, 2014

Most owners of horse farms have given some thought to fire prevention on their properties. If they have posted “No Smoking” signs in the barn, had all wiring installed by a professional electrician, and checked to see that fire extinguishers have been serviced recently, they may think they have carried out a thorough plan for fire safety. After all, what else is there to think about?

A free fire safety checklist available from Equine Guelph, part of the University of Guelph in Canada, reminds property owners that there are many steps involved in keeping the risk of barn fires at a minimum. For example, the list begins with questions about accessibility. Is the driveway to the barn marked with reflective road numbers? Is the arrangement of gates and fences spaced so that large fire trucks can easily make the turn into the driveway? Is the driveway solid enough (no permanent mudholes) and clear enough (no low branches overhanging the driving lane) so that heavy trucks can travel with no problems? Are water spigots located outside the barn and marked with reflective tape? Are barnyard fences arranged to provide space for several large trucks to maneuver, park, and turn around near the barn?

If these questions bring up categories of fire protection that you haven’t thought about, download the checklist and see what else should be considered to improve your property to its safest conditions.