By Karen Nicholson
Barns are highly combustible; time available for firefighting is very limited. First, never put your own personal safety at risk. A barn fire can develop extremely fast; it only takes 3-4 minutes for a fire to fill a barn with smoke. Most people die from smoke… not fire! Evacuating animals from a barn fire can be extremely challenging, time consuming, and actually impossible in some cases. Save equipment? Forget it!
- Try not to panic.
- Call 911. Tell them the status of the fire. Tell the dispatcher it is a barn fire. Give them your E911 physical number address, or be able to give them directions to your farm.
- Tell them if there are any people injured or trapped.
- Tell them if animals are in the barn: how many, are they loose or contained?
- Is your driveway difficult to see or find? Send someone out to meet the fire department. Many fire departments have a delayed response time due to poor directions.
- Shut off all power sources to your barn.
- If you are the only one at the barn, DO NOT enter the barn! If something happens to you, no one will know you are inside.
- If animals are loose or have been evacuated from the barn, they must be contained in a fenced field or penned away from the fire. They will try to reenter the barn; the barn is home, safety.