Where There is Smoke, There is Fire
You can never plan too much into the design of a facility to house your livestock – and especially for fire prevention. Roughly two-thirds of fatal barn fires occur from October to March, according to an October 2018 report from the Animal Welfare Institute, with 36.8% occurring in January through March. Weather appeared to play a significant role, with electricity and heater malfunctions the largest culprits. While many fires could be prevented with proper inspection, maintenance and detection systems, there are currently no laws in the U.S. requiring fire protection measures in barns.
One really surprising statistic on where most fatal fires occur is that from 2013-2017, 38 states reported farm fires that killed livestock, yet the most animal-industry populated states had fewer fires than in states where livestock production is less.
Source: Barn Fires: A Deadly Threat to Farm Animals, Animal Welfare Institute October 2018
North Carolina, which has the second largest pork industry, fourth largest broiler chicken industry and the second largest turkey industry averaged only 1.4 fatal fires a year. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York all had more than 22 fires per year.
What can you do? First, check with your insurer and ask if they have recommendations. Perhaps your insurer has discounts on premiums if a fire prevention and fire suppression system is built into your facility. And then talk to your livestock facility designer and see how they can design into your plans fire prevention measures.
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Do you have more questions that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact Summit Livestock Facilities at 800.213.0567 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our customer engagement team will help you determine the next steps of your project.