Barn fires can spread quickly, especially if you store hay in the loft. There are several fire protection steps you need to take to keep your barn safe, such as keeping the barn free from clutter and keeping cobwebs and hay away from electrical outlets and light bulbs. Another important safety device is the fire extinguisher. If you can put out a fire as soon as it starts, you can save your barn and the lives of your animals. Here are a few tips for choosing and storing fire extinguishers in your barn.
Type Of Extinguisher
A barn fire may be electrical in nature, or it could involve burning paper from a dropped cigarette, or a fuel fire from stored gas cans or a tractor. All of these types of fires can be extinguished with an ABC fire extinguisher. Installing an extinguisher that can fight all types of fires is a good idea because it helps avoid confusion in an emergency. You'll also have a choice in size when you buy your fire extinguishers. Choose a size that's as large as you can handle so it will last longer and put out a larger fire. A 10 pound extinguisher is a good size to place in a barn.
Where To Store The Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers should be mounted on the wall so they can be reached easily and be held securely. Place one at each exit since you want to have an exit behind you when you fight a fire. Also, since your barn is probably a large building, place extinguishers throughout the barn at a distance of 20 to 30 feet apart. It's also a good idea to place an extinguisher near the electrical panel that services your barn.
Maintaining The Extinguishers
Check each extinguisher on a monthly basis to make sure the pressure gauge is in the appropriate range and that there is no damage or rust on the exterior of the tank. About once each year, the extinguishers should be checked by a professional. Since barns are dusty environments, the tanks need to be discharged, cleaned, and recharged occasionally. Your local fire department might provide this service, or they can refer you to a company that services fire extinguishers.
Instruction In Use
If you have several employees working in your barn, you want to make sure each one knows the location of all the fire extinguishers. Your employees should also know how to use an extinguisher properly. Your local fire department may hold a safety class for your employees, or you can provide hands on training yourself. The best way to learn how to use a fire extinguisher is to actually handle one. That way the process is familiar and easy to remember in case a fire ever breaks out.
Installing fire extinguishers in your barn is critically important for fire safety, but it is just one step in an overall fire protection plan. If you want further peace of mind, contact your fire department and ask for an inspection and advice for other steps you can take that will reduce your risk of a barn fire.
To learn more, contact a company like Echo Fire Protection.
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