Thankfully, barn fires are a rare occurence, but when they do happen the results are devastating. Horses can lose their lives or suffer severe burns and serious medical complications, tack and equipment is destroyed and the barn will have to be rebuilt.

On the next walk through your barn, bring this checklist along and evaluate what needs to be addressed to minimize your risk of a barn fire.

Mark this form with "Yes" or "No" next to each question to identify problem areas that need correction:

_____  Are aisleways and doorways clear of debris or “stored” objects?

_____  Are cobwebs removed weekly, if not more often?

_____  Are all electric motors on both fixed and portable appliances completely sealed?

_____  Have all lightweight (lamp-type) extension cords been removed?

_____  If extension cords are in use (temporarily only) are they industrial or heavy-duty rated?

_____  Are any electrical cords hanging from or supported by nails?

_____  Is all permanent electrical wiring in conduit?

_____  Are cages installed over all light bulbs?

_____  Is there a master electric power switch on the outside of the barn?

_____  Is there a frost-proof water hydrant at or near the entrance to the barn?

_____  Is there a water hose long enough to reach the opposite end of the barn?

_____  Is hay stored stored in a shed or in another building at least 100 feet from the barn?

_____  Is hay dry and well-cured? Is hay in a waterproof area?

_____  Is stall bedding stored in an area away from the animals?

_____  Is used stall bedding (manure pile) kept in an area away from the barn?

_____  Have cleaning cloths contaminated with any petroleum product been properly disposed  of?

_____  Is a sign with fire department information posted by the telephone?

_____  Is an emergency animal escape plan displayed?

_____  If you have a “runway” exit to a pasture, have all animals been trained to use it?

_____  Can fire trucks reach the barn? (Check road surface, gate and curbs)

_____  Have you invited your fire department to visit your property for purposes of making a pre-plan?


Keep this list handy, courtesy of Laurie Loveman, and visit her website for more tips on keeping your horse safe from fire.