Noble Life

Planning for an Emergency: Barn Fire


While no one wants to think about a barn fire, it is important to be prepared in case the worst should happen. An important part of that is having a written fire plan that is posted and practiced so that everyone is aware of the details. Steps to consider in your fire plan are:


  • As a person of authority, your responsibility in case of a fire is for the welfare of riders and others under your direction.
  • If a fire is discovered, instruct someone to dial 911 and report the fire. Use a phone away from the fire or a mobile phone.
  • While the fire is being reported, instruct all riders to dismount and move to a safe location.
  • Everyone should meet at a predetermined location. This could be by the entrance sign, a mailbox, flag pole, etc.
  • Make sure everyone is accounted for and away from the fire.
  • An adult should stay with any children.
  • Instruct individuals leading horses to take them to any pasture or arena away from the fire and then to report to the meeting location.


  • In case of a fire, your first concern is for your safety. If you are in the ring for lessons, follow directions given to you from your instructor.
  • If you are asked to dial 911 use a mobile phone or one away from the fire. Stay on the phone until the dispatch has all the necessary information.
  • If you are with a horse, turn it out in an area away from the fire as quickly as possible.
  • If you are not in a lesson, your first response should be to check to see if help is needed getting riders to safety or calling 911.
  • If you are not needed by the instructor, you can turn your attention to the safety of the horses.
  • If the fire is in another building, you may turn the horses out into a pasture away from the fire. Then meet with the others at the predetermined meeting location.
  • If it is safe to do so, check all rooms to be sure no one is trapped.
  • To lead a horse from a fire, cover their eyes with a blanket, towel, shirt, etc. Take them to a secure area and then join the others at the predetermined location.

Above all else, please remember that in case of a fire, your first concern is for yourself, others at the barn and the horses.

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The Author:

For 20 years Stephanie J. Corum has be involved in various aspects of the horse industry, including Thoroughbred and Arabian racing, breeding and training sport horses and therapeutic riding. Stephanie has maintained her own freelance writing business, SC Equine Enterprises, since 1999 and has published the illustrated children's books "Goats With Coats" and "Antics in the Attic", which won an honorable mention at the 2011 San Francisco Book Festival. Currently she and her husband own Charisma Ridge, a small horse farm in Maryland, and she competes in dressage.

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