Animals: Preventing Barn Fires
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A barn fire is a frightening event for farmers and livestock, and can become a tragedy. Here are some tips to help in your planning:
Have you done everything to prevent and prepare for barn fires?
- Prohibit smoking in or around the barn areas
- Restrict access to your barn, and keep it clean and free of debris
- If possible, store hay and bedding in another building
- Make sure electrical wiring is up to code
- Install lightning protection and have fire extinguishers on hand
- Install heat or smoke detectors, and barn sprinklers
- Restrict tractor and motor vehicle use in the barn
- Plan an evacuation route and practice fire drills. Include your livestock and desensitize them to flashlights and flashing lights
- Post emergency numbers at each telephone and at each entrance
- Invite the local fire department over to identify hazards
In the Event of a Barn Fire:
- Immediately call 911
- Use fire extinguishers if the fire is manageable.
- Do not enter the barn if it is already engulfed in flames
- If it is safe for you to enter the barn, evacuate animals one at a time starting with the most accessible. Be sure to put a halter and lead rope on each when you open the stall door.
- After the fire, be sure to have all your livestock checked by a veterinarian. Smoke inhalation can cause serious lung damage and respiratory complications.
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