Unstable Stables: Why Your Horses’ Home Is A Fire Hazard, And What You Can Do To Prevent The Risk

Most city and municipal ordinances have strict fire alarm system requirements for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings. These requirements do a superb job protecting the people who live and work in these buildings, but did you know that one of the most fire-prone locations not often protected by these regulations is a stable?

Sadly, stable fires often result in the deaths of much-loved, valuable horses; even though eradicating the fire risks inside of a stable are impossible, you can take steps to reduce the risk of suffering your own tragic stable fire, and even install a fire alarm system that will notify you at the very onset of such a horrible occurrence.

Why are Stables So Dangerous?

If you have at least a few horses, you most likely have a stable erected to not only give your horses the shelter they need against the elements, but also a place to store the feed, tack, and bedding. A solid, secure stable is a sound investment if you own multiple horses or even just one horse; however, the makeup of a stable is a cocktail of dangerous fire hazards.

  • Bedding is flammable. Two of the most commonly used stable bedding materials are straw and shavings. Both straw and shavings serve as absorbent, comfortable, and safe bedding for your beloved equines, Unfortunately, both materials can be quite dry, and it is this dryness that, while increasing the absorbent quality, also leaves it quick to ignite. 
  • Barns are a perfect fire triangle. For a fire to ignite and sustain, it needs three things: oxygen, heat and fuel. Unfortunately, the makeup of a family stable provides the perfect breeding grounds for all three of these necessary elements. Stables are specifically designed to provide equine inhabitants with adequate oxygen to breathe, bedding is readily-flammable fuel, and electrical systems within the stable provide more than adequate heat for a fire ignition. Furthermore, if you experience hot temperatures, the risk is even greater. 
  • Stables are hard to keep clean. If you are involved in equine activities, you know how difficult it can be to keep horses and their environments clean. Unfortunately, equine life is inevitably entangled with more than a little dirt and dust. You may be successful in reducing the accumulation of wayward bedding, cobwebs, dust, and even birds' nests that maraud your stable, but you will unlikely be as successful in completely eradicating it all. It is this material that not only easily ignites, but also serves as a highway to quickly spread a sparked fire.

How Can I Reduce the Risk of Fire in My Stable?

Thankfully, there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of a fire igniting in your stable and, should the worst occur, limit the fire's ability to spread throughout your stable. First, ban all smoking inside and around your stable. This may be common knowledge among those who participate in equestrian activities, but you would be surprised at how many "just this once" exceptions are made. Second, keep all bedding fresh and your stable area as clean as possible. Though you will never make a stable immaculately clean enough to eat off of the floor, you can significantly reduce the fire risk by diligently removing excess ignitable stable waste. Third, have a quality fire hazard expert or electrical professional analyze your stable's electrical system, and follow all frisk-reducing recommendations as soon as possible. 

Finally, invest in a quality fire alarm system for your stable. For all of your best efforts, you can never fully reduce the risk of a fire igniting in your stable. Today's fire alarm systems are sophisticated--you can integrate the alarm system so it alerts you in your home, or even through your cell phone!--and this sophistication is advanced enough to alert you to the ignition of a fire no matter where you are. This will give you enough time to notify emergency personnel and respond with time enough to salvage as much of your stable as possible--and, more importantly, your beloved horses nestled within it. 

To learn more, contact a security company like Vigilant Security Inc.