Fire Safety Equipment

Make sure your barn has the right equipment to stay fire safe.

Fire extinguisher
Photo: Pfc. John Robbart III
  • Home smoke detectors can become clogged with organic matter in a barn, rendering them faulty. Heat detector alarms aren’t appropriate for barns because there needs to be a presence of flames before the alarm kicks in. Projected beam detectors, called optical systems, recognize a change in the obscurity level, and they work very well for barns and need little maintenance. However, they are much more expensive than smoke detectors.
  • An intercom system between the main house and the barn will help alert you to any potential problems. Keep it switched on at all times.
  • Nine out of 10 barns struck by lightning will burn to the ground. Lightning rods help avoid fires by allowing lightning to follow a path to the ground instead of striking the barn itself. Make sure your installer is certified by The Lightning Protection Institute and that the rods are approved by Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
  • Fire-resistant treated wood (FRTW) can help keep fire from spreading and help stop roof trusses from collapsing. FRTW can stop flames from spreading for a certain time, even for up to two hours.
  • Fire-retardant paints and varnishes can help slow the spread of flames.
  • For further information, download the Humane Society of the United States booklet Making Your Horse Barn Fire Safe at

Back to Extinguish the Threat of Barn Fires.



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