Barn Safety

Barn Fire Safety

No barn is fireproof, but these steps can help minimize your farm's risk.

Barn fires can be devastating for farmers with loss of livestock, building and equipment, but there are steps that owners can take to reduce the risk. Almost half of all barn fires are caused by faulty electrical systems, regular maintenance and inspection are crucial to reducing the risk. 

What can you do to reduce your risk?

  • Be prepared. Train family, and staff on what to do including how to manage livestock, and who to contact. Be sure to identify a safe meeting place.
  • A equalized electrician should routinely (at least annually) inspect any electrical appliances installed in the barn, such as water headers, pipe-heating, tape, insect-control devices, and portable portable heating units. Enclose all electrical wiring in metal, or PVC conduit, and disconnect and store all radios, clippers, extension cords, and similar portable appliances when not in use.
  • Contact your local fire department to inspect your property to identify problem areas and provide recommendations for a fire prevention plan. Have your plan ready to deal with any emergency.
  • Ensure you have adequate fire extinguishers, and that they are in good working order.
  • Monitor your heat conditions using infrared technologies.
  • Keep feed, hay, straw and flammable liquid away from the main barn.
  • Cover light bulbs to protect them from dust, moisture and breakage.
  • Store oily rags in closed metal containers, away from heat.
  • Keep heat lamps and space heaters at a safe distance.

For further information on ways you can determine your risk and to learn more about reducing the risk of barn fires visit:

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Government of Ontario News Release - Ontario Encouraging Fire Safety for Barn Owners

Canadian Federation Of Humane Societies Website - Barn Fire Prevention

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