Barn Fire and Evacuation Plan - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-03-2009, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 228
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Barn Fire and Evacuation Plan

Do you have a plan? Tomorrow night 5 local fire departments are using our farm to "simulate" a multiple department response to a major fire which requires animal evacuation. Interestingly, I was unaware that we did not have sufficient water pressure to battle a major event so I readily agreed to participate. Thus, they will be working with lots of tanker trucks, inflatable pools, tec. I will also be giving lessons on horse handling and safe evacuation to around 30 of them that have no experience with horses. They will then practice evacuating horses from their stalls, at night, with trucks and equipment nearby, emergency overhead lights flashing, extended hoses, noise and artifical lighting. So, this past week I have been updating my barn's Fire and Evacuation Plan and working with my "fire friends". We have a good plan but I wanted to share some of the actions they find really important to ensure their maximum efficiency
and safety.
At your barn entrances, plain for all to see and read (multiple languages if required), should be a detailed diagram/floor plan of your barn. This diagram should identify the number of and location of every animal in the barn that requires evacuation, the location of fire extinguishers, hoses, electrical panels, etc. It should clearly show all exits (including windows) with exiting directions showing the exact location to which the horses and other animals can be safely evacauted to. For example - exit the main door turn left, 50 meters to gate, release animal and close gate. Visually it must be specific and simple - giving both visual and written instructions. Our departments require a safe contained area to put the horses be available. They will not simply release them so they can run from the danger. These directions must be precise and clear as you can basically assume many of your responding fire fighters no nothing about horses, your farm and may be working in dense, heavy smoke.

Make sure all stabled horses are easy to halter and ensure the horse will accept a "hood" over it's head or even a towel over it's eyes. It is a simple de-sensitizing exercise and it may be a life saver in a worst case scenario.
Make evacuation hoods available next to your posted Evac Plan. Identify what they are to be used for. Clearly identify boxes that contain Stallions, un-trained, hard-to-handle or dangerous horses (those that bite or kick). They need to know when time is of the essence.

Think about will your horses react when a firefighter in full gear, (looking and sounding like Darth Vader) comes to say hello? Talk to your local fire department about your plan. Invite them to your facility and they will be happy to work with you to make it as safe and hazard free as possible. Volunteer to be an exercise location. Ask them to get to know your place and they will know exactly where to go and what they will be facing if the call ever needs to be made. Let's hope it never does.

We love firefighters here at our farm!
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post #2 of 2 Old 06-13-2009, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: some where on my farm
Posts: 1,825
• Horses: 5
living in south west kansas my horses are out all the time...what's left of my tin barn holds my hay and gives shade to the horses.....(waiting for the dh to fix my barn, but have better chance of getting hit by lightning).....we do have a fire plan for grass fires, our local 4-h has a large indoor areana that is open at all time for emergancy's..where we can safley take them too, both my neighbour and i both have 4 horse trailers to get every thing out of the way if needed (i have 3 horses, a calf, 20 chickens and 3 pig's and they have 5 horses).
i can't remember when this happend but it did when i was living in montreal. it was right around christmass a few years back when a barn in st lazarre (very western part) cought fire due fualty wirering, infact the barn was a dive....i remember being in it a few months before it cought fire...any ways i tihnk 22 horses out of 24 we're killed in the my old barn we had 5 exits from the barn and each isle was asigned a door in case of fire. i guess stuff like that make you really think on how safe a barn is

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