Archive for the Fire Suppression Category

Fire Safety – Before, During and After a Fire in Your Home

Lisa Carpenter recently contacted me to tell me about the kids in a summer program where she volunteers.  After learning about fire safety, the kids wanted to create a resource that could help others, and they did a tremendous job.  There are all sorts of tips and resources on their website that will help you both in your home and barn. Please take a look at the results of their effort. It is definitely well worth your time. The page is Fire Safety – Before, During and After a Fire in Your Home.

If you would like to learn more about this program, you may contact Lisa Carpenter at lisa@homeschoolingadventures.com.

New Fire Safety for Barns Program

“Building a Farm Fire Safe Community” is a new program that was created because of concerns over the huge loss resulting from fires that have destroyed buildings, animals, vehicles, and equipment in Ontario, Canada. Bill Hunter, Fire Chief  for the Township of Perth East and the Municipality of West Perth, in Ontario, Canada, invites you to learn about their program, which was developed in partnership with the Tradition Mutual Insurance Company, North Waterloo Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, the South Easthope Mutual Insurance Company and the Perth-Huron Insurance Brokers Association. This program is not just for Ontario farms, though. It is adaptable to any farm or stable situation and they are also planning a series of videos that will address farm fire safety topics.  Take a look at this program, especially the excellent self-assessment form available for you to download. You can learn more about the program at the Perth East website at  www.pertheast.ca or you can contact Chief Hunter at the fire department at 519-595-2800.

Maite Kropp writing on Animal Deaths in Factory Farms

If 600,000 people died in one year from preventable fires, we would do something about it. The problems is, the 600,000 sentient beings who perished weren’t people, and they couldn’t speak for themselves. Here, Maite Kropp gives them a voice.

Animal deaths in factory fires can be avoided

by Maite Kropp

Published in The Reporter, August 6, 2014

Prevention of tragedy has been a survival behavior of humankind since the beginning of human existence. Not all tragedies can be prevented, especially if they are caused by an “Act of God.” Lately, we have witnessed some very unforgettable tragedies caused by wildfires in many parts of the country due to the severe drought.

Thunderstorms/lightning, parched earth and dry vegetation are a dangerous and deadly combination. When one of these wildfires breaks, a sense of helplessness spreads rapidly among many people, fearing lost life of humans, wild animals, birds, insects, trees and vegetation.

The pain and suffering of all those that perish among the flames and smoke is hard to grasp.

Many wildfires could have been prevented but are not, because of an “Act of Stupidity,” caused by careless, thoughtless individuals with no regard to human or animal life.

Such acts of reckless, abandonment of common decency in respect to life are apparent when businesses involved in factory farming of cattle, pork, birds or egg producers, disregard providing safety for their animals by failing to install fire sprinkler systems and smoke detectors (which is not required by law), in all of their compounds where the animals are enclosed.

This past July 28, a preventable tragedy took the lives of 65,000 confined hens at one of the barns of Egg Innovations, an egg producer in Kosciusko County, Indiana.

It is mind boggling to think that the owners of such a large poultry factory farming business would not have installed the vital sprinkler systems, not only to avoid the scorching, suffering death of the ill-fated birds, but also to prevent business losses.

Perhaps there is a big insurance settlement.

Fire Chief Mike Harmon of Atwood, interviewed by WANE-TV of Fort Wayne stated, “Flames were showing. Probably shooting in the air about 20 feet.”

The issue of deadly fires in the business of factory farming has been addressed steadily for the last two years, thanks to United Poultry Concern, an organization dedicated to the protection of poultry. The goal of its founder, Karen Davis, PhD and many others is to propose a law across the country which will make it illegal not to provide the fire protection systems for these conscious creatures.

It is obvious that Egg Innovations failed to provide this basic security that would have prevented the death of these hens that were four weeks short of becoming egg producers. Currently, the owners of farm animals are not accountable for fires such as this.

As a result, chickens and other factory farmed animals burn alive as taxpayers pay via the U.S. Department of Agriculture through a reimbursement program that helps factory farmers rebuild and restock their facilities.

Egg Innovations advertises itself as a “free range” and “certified humane.”

Those who want to be a bit more informed should check the internet on the meaning of “certified humane” and who its members are.

Most of them are involved in factory style production and the labeling by Egg Innovations is deceptive to those who want to believe that the egg omelet they serve their family on a Sunday morning was produced the way the old farmers used to raise their hens.

For those of you who romanticize about getting your eggs from those old time farmers, the reality is factory farming has made them nearly extinct.

In 2012, 600,000 chickens and turkeys were killed by fires.

The National Fire Protection Association’s data tells that firefighters responded to 830 barn fires per year and the damage is equated to be about $28 million.

This said, NOW is the time to mandate a law that will prevent the death of sentient creatures in fires that CAN be prevented, with insurance premiums remaining accessible to all.

Maite Kropp is the founder of Harmony Kennels Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization that operates a permanent refuge for abused animals. Write her at P.O. Box 5112, Vacaville CA 95696 or e-mail at maite@hughes.net

Good information about planning for fire safety

Following the loss of eight horses in a barn fire at Gerry Carwood’s barn near Keeneland Racetrack on May 9, 2014, Natalie Voss wrote an excellent article titled “Fire Safety in Barns is All About Planning Ahead” that was published in the May 25, 2014 issue of the Paulick Report.  It will be well worth your time to read it at http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/fire-safety-in-barns-is-all-about-planning-ahead/ .

 

Info from Fire Safety Expert Irvin Lichtenstein

Irvin Lichtenstein sent a Letter to the Editor of The Horse that was published in the June, 2012 issue, regarding an article, “Healthful Barns.” Mr. Lichtenstein signed the letter as Chief of Operations, Southeast Pennsylvania Search and Rescue, however, his experience over more than 40 years in the fire service is tremendous, so I’m delighted that he’s given his permission for me to reprint his letter, as follows, because his expert knowledge is so important to share:

             “The article on page 50 of the May 2012 issue, “Healthful Barns,” leaves out the most important safety factors for horses in barns. In much of the country barns are not subject to building codes or inspection. This means that there is no guarantee that the structure will withstand high winds, snow loads, impacts, floods, or fire.

            Barns are often huge lumber yards storing highly flammable bedding, feeds, and dusts. The lack of fixed fire detection and suppression systems frequently leads to disasters. When building a large barn, the added cost of thses systems is usually under $4 per square foot for both detectors and sprinklers. If you have an arena dust spray system, you already have the water supply for fire sprinklers. Also, when building a barn, build it to human occupancy standards; if there is no local code you can specify NFPA 150 or a similar best practice. And maintain the systems and good practices. Don’t put anything in a barn that doesn’t belong there.

            Practice your response to an emergency until it becomes automatic, not panic.”

 

 

Fire Safety Tip – Using Baking Soda

Michelle Staples, author of “Save Your Horse! A Horse Owner’s Guide to Large Animal Rescue” (www.saveyourhorse.com) sent this information from a student in one of the classes she teaches:

“At two of the larger barns I know, they did a safety audit as they used to mix baking soda with sand and keep it in 5 gallon pails throughout the building. The understanding was that baking soda also smothers a fire like sand but it is a lot lighter in weight and if a younger person or small adult discovers a fire, they can handle the weight of the baking soda/sand bucket.  One hundred percent baking soda works well, too, but should be covered to protect it from moisture. Sand keeps the baking soda stable, but the bucket should also be covered.”