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Barn Safety Checklist


 Barn Safety Checklist

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow may have a bad rap, but the folk tale reminds us fire safety is an important part of farm life. People, animals and property are in danger when fire breaks out on the farm. Inspect your barn and outbuildings for fire hazards to reduce the risk of tragic loss.

For a safe barn, ensure that:

  • All electrical wiring is free from damage and enclosed in metal or PVC conduit.
  • Electrical equipment is designated for agricultural or commercial use.
  • Extension cords are not used in the barn.
  • Lightbulbs have covers to protect them from dust, moisture and breakage.
  • Damage is identified quickly and repairs are completed with safety in mind.
  • Dust and cobwebs around electrical outlets and lights are removed.
  • Oily rags are stored in a closed metal container away from heat.
  • Feed, hay, straw and flammable liquids are stored away from the main barn.
  • The barn is a smoke-free zone.
  • A qualified electrician routinely (at least annually) inspects any electrical appliances installed in the barn, such as water heaters and portable heating units.
  • Radios, clippers, extension cords and similar portable electrical appliances are unplugged and stored when not in use.
  • Regular maintenance is performed on gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles to avoid any problems with fuel or exhaust systems.
  • Heat lamps and space heaters are kept a safe distance from anything that can burn and are on a sturdy surface where they cannot fall over.
  • Exits are clearly marked and pathways are clear.
  • Workers are trained to use fire extinguishers, and everyone in the barn knows personal safety is the first priority if a fire breaks out.
  • Hazard checks take place on a set schedule.
  • This safety equipment—which may be required by building codes—is in place: ABC-type fire extinguishers near every exit and within 50 feet of any point in the barn, a fire alarm, fire sprinkler system and carbon monoxide detectors.