One frequent cause of barn fires in the winter months occurs when someone attempts to thaw frozen water pipes. The American Red Cross has information about preventing frozen pipes in the first place, and tips on thawing those pipes if they do freeze. The fact sheet is directed to homes, but the information definitely applies to barns also. Take a few minutes to read the American Red Cross Fact Sheet: Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes before you take your tools to the barn.
Nancy Jaffers has written an article that brings up some important points, especially regarding the loss of electricity. For example, how would you supply water to your horses if you’re on a well? Nancy points you to some good solutions to problems you’re likely to experience if your area is hit with a tornado, wildfire, or other natural disasters. You can read her excellent article at http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2013/02/when_an_emergency_looms_horseo.html . Nancy’s articles appear every Sunday on-line at http://www.nj.com/ in the equestrian column she writes for nj.com.
From: Laurie Loveman [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
For those folks who are planning a new barn or upgrading electrical components in your existing barn: Steve Corcoran checked the current National Electrical Code and reports that discussion with the electrical engineering department at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicated that any outbuilding where livestock MAY be held, fed or treated, classifies that building as an agricultural building and the highly corrosive environment created by the combination of moisture and livestock manure creates the presence of a possible electrical shock/fire safety hazard, so non-metallic conduit is required.
Please consult your local fire safety inspector to make sure you’re in compliance before you begin construction or refitting.