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Pole Barn Fire Safety Tips


Wood pole barns are durable and useful structures but also prone to fire damage. Every day you can find a news story somewhere about a barn or pole barn catching fire and being razed to the ground. Pole barns that house hay bales, combustible materials and vehicles topped off with gas and oil are capable of going up in flames with just the slightest spark.

Once a fire starts in a wood pole barn it can be very hard to put out. When you factor in how quickly wood burns and the time it will take the fire department to reach your location, the chances of salvaging the building and its contents are slim. Here are a few tips for reducing the chances of a fire in your post frame building.

Clean Regularly: Many pole barns are used for storage and unfortunately owners and workers tend to toss items around carelessly. This means there can be a lot of refuse, waste, papers and other items that will make for great tinder. If you use a pole barn to store vehicles and power equipment there is a good chance you will have flammable items such as oil cans, fuel canisters and other chemicals that can contribute to a fire. By cleaning your pole barn regularly you can eliminate many of the items that cause fires.

Have an Emergency Plan: As the saying goes, if you don't prepare then prepare to fail. As the owner of a pole barn it is up to you to create an emergency plan and ensure all your employees who use the post-frame building are aware of the procedures in case of a fire. Having a plan will greatly reduce the chance someone will be caught in the fire and can also help limit the damage done by a fire. In your emergency plan should be rules and regulations such as no smoking in the pole barn and guidelines for using power equipment and mechanical heat sources near wood and hay bales.

Schedule Inspections: The fire marshal will certainly be paying you a visit to inspect the building to ensure it is up to code but you will also want to schedule your own inspections, especially with an electrician. If your pole barn is wired there is a good chance you may have frayed wiring, short circuits and other electrical problems. Have all work done by a licensed electrician and also have that same person come back to spot inspections to ensure everything is safe when it comes to the building wiring.

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