NFPA offers barn-fire safety checklist
Quincy, MA – In response to several damaging fires in Canada, the National Fire Protection Association is advising barn owners to check both barns and outbuildings for fire hazards.
The agency has released a checklist to help prevent barn fires. The checklist includes the following guidance:
- Keep space heaters and heat lamps a safe distance from anything flammable.
- Ensure heaters are on a solid surface so they are unable to tip over.
- Label electrical equipment for agricultural or commercial use.
- Ensure wiring is undamaged.
- Do not use extension cords in the barn.
- Cover lightbulbs to shield them from dust, moisture and damage.
- Quickly identify and fix damage.
- Remove dust and cobwebs from electrical outlets and lights.
- Keep oily rags in a closed metal container, far from heat.
- Store feed, hay, straw and flammable liquids away from the main barn.
- Keep the barn a smoke-free area.
- Clearly designate exits. Keep pathways clear.
- Frequently conduct fire drills.
- Train workers to use fire extinguishers.
- Have a set schedule for hazard checks.
NFPA encourages contacting the local fire department to review a barn’s safety issues. The agency also notes that local building codes may require safety equipment, including:
- ABC-type fire extinguishers near each exit and within every 50 feet
- Fire alarm system
- Sprinkler system
- Carbon monoxide detection system