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Prevent Fire Damage in Pole Barns
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
For generations, a barn was the structure of choice when it came to keeping livestock and materials dry on a farm or ranch. Made of wood and relatively inexpensive to construct, barns were used to house livestock, hay, building materials, equipment, and other needs common to farms and ranches. Unfortunately, they are also quite prone to fire damage due to their wood construction.
More recent developments in pole barn construction include the use of metal in the construction, which cuts down on the likelihood of fire damage, as well as resistance to rotting or damage caused by livestock.
Fire Hazards within Pole Barns
In the case of fires as they relate to pole barns, it is important to note that it is most commonly the contents of the pole barn that initially catch fire, not the pole barn itself. Pole barn fires may be prevented by monitoring what is kept in these facilities and taking steps to ensure that flammable or combustible materials are properly sealed, with adequate ventilation, and kept away from any heat sources such as vents, space heaters, wood stoves, or any open flame.
Often, pole barns are utilized for storing or working on vehicles such as cars, trucks, or tractors. Where you find vehicles you often find flammable materials such as gasoline or oil. Care should be taken to clean up any spills that may occur, as well as providing proper ventilation. High concentrations of gasoline fumes may easily ignite.
Pole barn fires may also be prevented by utilizing fire-resistant materials in the construction process which will allow for easier cleanup and repair in the wake of a fire as well as preventing fires from spreading as quickly.
Examples of fire-resistant building materials include poured concrete, concrete block, metal, and brick. While the fire-related advantages are obvious, there are some downsides; concrete is not porous and may sweat in the hot summer and brick is usually a more expensive endeavor than wood. Metal buildings are generally noisier and easily damaged by high winds.
It should be noted that while fireproof material adds an additional level of security, they do not and should never take the place of normal fire safety precautions and procedures. Always have a plan in place for dealing with any fire that may break out and threaten your pole barn.
In addition, keep any electrical appliances or devices that may be in use clean and free of dust, papers or other debris which may spark a fire. Get rid of any extension cords that are being used in the barn.
Don't leave rags, cloths, or cleaners lying around. Not only are they flammable, but they provide a means for the fire to spread. This is equally true for items that tend to clutter up the space. Keeping everything as neat and tidy as possible greatly reduces the fire threat.
As with the case of any fire threat, have the contact information available for your local fire department and the contact information for your local fire damage restoration company. Remember that in any case of fire damage it is important to act rapidly in order to avoid more serious long term structural issues.