Fire Safety and Your Agistment

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Agistment fires are a huge fear of any horse owner. Whether you’ve had your horse for years or have just recently looked at horses for sale and brought a new horse home, fire safety should be a top priority. Is your agistment at risk of a fire? Here are some points that you will definitely want to check.

Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets in agistments are major fire risks if left uncovered. Hay, dust, and debris can fall into the outlets, starting a spark that sets off a fire. Be sure that all outlets are firmly covered in the agistment, and that they’re kept out of the reach of horses. If your agistment is more than a few years old, you will want to be sure that the electrical wiring is current and up to code.

Hay Storage

Many agistment fires begin in the hayloft. Hay is highly flammable and once ignited, the fire spreads rapidly. If at all possible, store hay in a building that is kept separate from where the horses live. Be sure that any hay that is stored has been properly dried before it was baled. If you spot moldy areas in the center of the hay bales, this can become a major fire risk during hot weather – the temperature of the bales can rise as the hay molds, eventually igniting the hay.

Smoke Detectors

Every second counts with a fire, so be sure that your agistment has plenty of smoke detectors to help warn you of a fire as soon as it starts. Remember to check the smoke detectors regularly, and to replace their batteries so that they are working when you need them. Consider installing a fire alarm system that sounds directly at your local fire department to further save time in the event of a fire.

Fire Extinguishers

If a fire ever does break out, having fire extinguishers accessible might mean that you could keep it under control. Make sure that you have fire extinguishers spaced throughout your entire agistment, and that they are all functioning and haven’t expired. Be sure to train everyone who works or rides at the agistment in how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Evacuation Plan

If a fire were to break out, does your agistment have a plan in place to evacuate the horses quickly? Safety measures like stall doors that open out directly into pastures, and keeping halters on all of the horses at night, can make evacuating fast, increasing the likelihood that your horse would survive a fire.

Agistment fires can spread quickly and become tragic. Take the steps ahead of time to make sure that your agistment’s fire safety practices are up to speed.

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