Preventing barn fires

Published 7:08 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Equine organizations to team up for safety event 

GREEN CREEK – Barn fire: a fear of every horse owner. 

The National Fire Prevention Association states that heating equipment such as space heaters, bucket heaters and portable water heaters are the main source of barn fires. Faulty electrical systems are also a leading cause of stable fires.  

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The NFPA also reports that nearly half of all barn and stable fires occur between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., during the months of January, February and March. 

Partnership with Horses is teaming up with Polk Equine Emergency Rescue for a barn fire prevention seminar from 6:30 to 8 p.m. next Wednesday. The seminar will take place at the Green Creek Fire and Rescue station, located at 8645 S. Highway 9, Columbus. 

Polk County Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshall Bobby Arledge will give fire safety tips and discuss ways to help prevent barn fires. PEER will be accepting donations to equip and train local firefighters in dealing with barn fires.  

PEER will also host a workshop March 24 and 25 to train local firefighters in dealing with frightened horses. Local instructor Rick Millweard, along with volunteers and their horses, will assist with the workshop. 

PEER provides large animal emergency treatment and transportation at no charge to the Foothills area. They operate solely from donations and are staffed by volunteers.  

The Feb. 28 seminar is sponsored by Re-Ride Consignment Tack Shop. Those attending will receive a coupon to use at the shop.  

Anyone unable to attend the seminar can send a donation the Green Creek Fire Department at the above address. Donations should include a notation of “for horses” on the check.  

The National Fire Prevention Association recommends the following fire prevention tips for horse and barn owners: 

  • Have buildings inspected and maintained regularly by a licensed electrical contractor
  • Develop a preventative maintenance and housekeeping schedule to reduce the risks of a fire
  • Monitor the heat conditions barns using infrared technologies
  • Work with local fire departments and insurance companies to identify problem areas on farms, and fix any problem areas identified
  • Have a plan ready to deal with any emergency
  • Train family and employees on what to do if there is a barn fire plan what to do about livestock, who to call and establish a safe meeting point.