Classic Equine Connection

Fire Prevention– Part 2

Posted by Classic Equine Equipment Blog on Jul 13, 2022 2:00:00 PM

This is Part 2 of our two-part blog series on barn fires. Last week offered suggestions on lowering your risk for a barn fire. But sometimes no matter how careful you are, a fire may be unstoppable.What do you do to prepare?use-5007146_960_720

Have an evacuation plan. Don’t THINK about having a plan – HAVE A PLAN! And implement it as soon as law enforcement issues a recommended evacuation for your area. Do NOT wait until evacuation is required – by this time it can be too late and you can get caught in the fire yourself. Leaving early can help avoid road congestion, making it easier for emergency vehicles to get in and out.

In your emergency plan, be sure to answer the following questions. And make sure everyone knows who is responsible for what. This is critical.

-Who will do what, where will horses go, what about hay and feed, how will you i.d. your horses later?

-How will you monitor the situation? – TV, radio, social media? Who is most likely to have the most up to date information? Social media is great, but they may not have all the information needed such as road closures, evacuation centers, etc. and always remember, not everything you see or hear on social media is true. Make sure you follow reliable pages such as local news channels vs. obtaining information from a friend of a friend.  

-Who is responsible for relaying the information to horse owners or others associated with your barn? and how will you communicate?- Phone call, group text, etc. ?                  

-Will owners be required to come in and take care of their own horses or will the barn manager take responsibility as the lead on decisions.

-What are the options for evacuation? A barn fire may just necessitate moving horses to a faraway pasture. Larger disasters may mean moving several miles away. Is everyone going together?

-Who decides where each horse goes? Who has trailers, how many horses can each trailer haul, and can others haul someone’s trailer if the owner is not available?

-Will you take feed and supplies for all horses or are owners responsible for getting their own feed? This also goes for medications as well. 

-Will someone be responsible for taking tack, water/feed buckets, etc?

-Do you have an emergency supply of halters and lead ropes stored somewhere for easy access? Even if you normally keep your horse’s halter close by, in all the chaos of evacuation you may find your halter/lead missing.

-If your horse isn’t routinely trailered, practice, practice, and practice so that he loads easily and quickly. A fire isn’t the time to learn your horse isn’t a good loader.

-Look at the tough decisions. What will you do if you can’t take your horses? It may be better to put on a break-away halter with your i.d. and turn them loose. They will do their best to survive. Don’t tie them up or leave them in a stall and hope someone will come and rescue them.

-There are several ways you can i.d. you horse and have it returned to you. Several people use an engravable dog tag from the pet store. Put your contact information on the tag and simply attach it to your horses halter. You can also write your phone number in permanent ink or paint on your horse’s hooves. Or, write your contact information and seal in a waterproof bag then braid or tie it into your horse’s mane.


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