Barn fires are arguably the worst thing that could happen to a farm. Since barn fires require an average of 25,000 gallons of water to fully extinguish, they are both costly and difficult to put out. Every year, farmers lose millions of dollars in equipment, livestock, and in some cases, human life, while fighting localized barn fires. Due to the wide variety of causes for these fires, a fair degree of forethought is required to prevent these emergencies from occurring.
Statistics show that the two most likely seasons for barn fires are summer and winter. Both seasons come with their own issues. Winter fires are often started from appliances, accumulation of dust, and rodent issues, such as rats gnawing through wiring.
In this article, our team discusses a few simple steps you can take to combat potential winter fires in your barn.
Dust Your Barn Regularly
First, your barn should be dusted at least once per season, with special emphasis on areas that have electrical lines and appliances.
These dustings do not need to occur weekly (or even monthly) but should be completed at least once every three months, especially after the changing of the seasons. Since summer months are known to bring dust, take extra care in the winter to ensure that high-risk areas are cleaned after the dry season.
Minimizing Rodent Presence
Rodent problems should be addressed and minimized by either implementing traps, poisons, or a combination of the two. Minimizing rodent populations within a barn can serve as a deterrent for electrical fires caused by gnawed wires.
Store Flammable Liquids Responsibly
Another consideration for winter fire prevention is the layout of your barn. Accelerants such as gasoline, kerosene, and other flammable liquids should not be stored in the same location as heaters, breaker boxes, or other high-energy appliances. These flammables should be stored in a separate area, ideally in a fireproof cabinet in order to prevent combustion. Dry fuels such as hay, firewood, and fertilizer should also be stored in locations that are distant from winter fire hazards.
Managing and Accessing an Icy Fire Protection Pond
You will need to have access to your water fire suppression pond even when your pond is frozen. Since water freezes from the top down, you will want to ensure that your dry hydrant is placed deep enough to access free-flowing water. With the customization potential of AquaArmor, keeping your dry hydrant’s intake port below freezing levels becomes a non-issue.