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10 Fire Prevention Tips for the Farm


Poultry confinement building engulfed in flames with several firefighters walking towards it

Insurance statistics show that the two most common times of the year for barn fires are summer and winter. Summer fires are often the result of electrical storms or spontaneous combustion of hot hay. Winter fires are caused by appliances, rodents chewing through wires, or the accumulation of dust and cobwebs on electrical surfaces. Heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in barns with heat lamps as the leading heating equipment involved in these fires.” -Margie Margentino, Karyn Malinowski, and Sara Malone at Rutgers University


Carefully Place and Maintain Gas and Electrical Systems
  • Gas and electric heating systems for the sheds and buildings should be carefully placed and maintained in order to prevent them from coming into contact with any flammable materials.

  • Keep heaters clean and clear of debris

Test Electrical Systems
  • Test electrical systems with a qualified electrician AT LEAST every 15 years

Carefully Store Flammable Materials
  • Do not store highly flammable materials in the same buildings as livestock

  • Do not store highly flammable materials with machinery or near electrical or heat sources

  • Keep hay, bedding, or any flammable materials away from lights, fans, electrical boxes, heaters, and outlets

Ensure Outlets have Proper Covers
  • Outlets and switch boxes should be made of metal and have dust and water-tight covers that close

Be Wary of Using Portable Heaters
  • Portable heaters should not be used in barns or anywhere they can be knocked over

Carefully Place Manure Piles
  • Keep manure piles at least 20 feet away from the barn to avoid spontaneous combustion fires

Monitor Building Temperatures
  • Closely monitor temperatures in buildings to ensure they do not exceed safe limits

Clearly Mark Exits
  • Exit doors should be clearly marked incase a fire does occur

  • Never let the fire block your path from the exit in attempts to put it out

Practice Fire Safety and Drills
  • Keep a fire hose, buckets, and fire extinguisher readily available

  • Practice fire drills should be held and evacuation routes and procedures in place

  • Have emergency contacts and phone numbers easily accessible

  • Be prepared to evacuate if necessary

Review your Insurance!

DO NOT wait until disaster strikes to find out you are insufficiently covered.


Did you know that 92% of Contract Poultry Growers are underinsured and could not recover from a major disaster? Every year family poultry farms go bankrupt because of some sort of catastrophic event after which they realized their insurance programs were woefully insufficient. Do not let this happen to you. Make sure to prepare your farm AND your insurance for disasters.


Click here for the full newsletter from the Rutgers University for more tips on fire prevention!


Schedule a discovery call to learn more about ARU and the insurance coverages we offer.



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