If you own horses and a barn, a barn fire may be one of your worst nightmares. In addition to your horses, you probably keep expensive tack in your barn too. You surely want to protect your animals and property. Rules and precautions such as banning smoking, adequate ventilation, and keeping the barn free of cobwebs, loose hay, and straw are crucial. Also, you must keep your electrical systems in good repair. Faulty electrical wiring, components, or equipment are all too often the cause of barn fires.
Here are some tips to help you keep your horse barn safe from electricity-related fires:
The preferred heating system in a barn is no system at all. If there's any way you can go without heat, that's the best option. If you must have heat, it should never be running in an unattended barn.
Heat lamps are all too often found in barns. This method of heating, which is usually a hanging fixture with a bulb, is not safe for a barn. Too many people purchase inexpensive systems and cheap bulbs. Heat lamps are sometimes found hanging from rope or twine, which isn't smart because those materials can break or catch on fire.
If you must use heat lamps, make sure they are of good quality and well made. They should have thick cords and bulbs should be enclosed. Use only hard, thick bulbs and secure your heat lamp with a chain.
If your barn had an existing heating system when you got it, have it inspected. If you are planning to install a heating system, your best option is to have it designed and installed by an electrical contractor.
As with anything electrical, improperly working lighting can be a barn hazard. Take the time to inspect light bulbs, fittings, and cords on a regular basis.
Bulbs should be securely screwed into their sockets. A loose bulb is a disaster waiting to happen. Use thick light bulbs that are less likely to shatter than thin, inexpensive ones.
Make sure that any cords are out of the way and can't be chewed on by horses or other pets and make sure that the barn stays free of mice, which like to chew on wires. Inspect cords for any fraying or other problems, and promptly replace any that are in poor condition.
If you have electrical appliances such as a refrigerator or water heater in your barn, be sure to keep them well maintained. Check the cords and connections regularly and replace them as necessary.
Keeping an eye on the electrical components of your horse barn is crucial. You will also want a professional electrician to do periodic inspections of your barn. Contact a local professional to discuss when and how frequently inspections should be done. Companies like Electrical Contracting at McCaine Electric Ltd may be able to meet your needs in this area.