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.