When we talk about fire prevention and safety design, we automatically think of residential and commercial buildings. However, we rarely stop to consider barn designs. And with barn architecture not having changed a whole bunch over the last 600 years, fire safety design innovations are few and far between. Here are a few things to consider when undertaking the design of a barn that will keep humans and animals safe.
First, the NFPA requires that all human houses, restaurants, and public buildings have two or more exits from every structure. This is just not the standard for barns. Horse stalls should have an exit to the inside of the building, as well as a safety exit to the outside in the case of a fire. And those doors to the outside should really connect to either a paddock so that horses can be safely contained or to a run-lane where horses can get really removed from a burning building and then gated off so that they can’t return.
The NFPA does have a standard for animal housing called Standard 150 that details suggestions for fire safety systems and electrical systems in animal boarding structures. Be sure that any barn designer and architect knows about and consults that document prior to finalizing designs.
As an owner of a barn, be sure to keep aisle ways clear of obstacles. Wheelbarrows, tools, and hay bales should all have their own place out of the way of fire exits.
While it’s convenient to store hay above horses in barns, it’s also extremely dangerous. That’s flammable, consumable fuel for a flame. Having a hay bale storage space at least 50 feet from where animals are boarded is extremely important for their safety and yours.
For more tips on fire safety in unconventional buildings, check back on our blog. And for all of your installation, design, and maintenance fire prevention needs, contact WM Fire Protection today.