Reducing the Risk of Fire on Your Farm - Assessing Your Risk

Self Assessment of a Farm Building

Many barn fires are preventable. Use the checklist to identify fire risk in farm buildings.




  1. The largest, separate fire compartment size is less than 4,800 m2 (51672 ft2)?
  1. Buildings are located at least 30 m (100 ft) from each other or have properly constructed (1 hour) fire rated walls separating the individual fire compartments?
  1. Properly constructed fire stops exist in the attic at 30 m (100 ft) intervals?
  1. No unsealed gaps or passageways in attic fire stops?
  1. Interior sheathing materials have low Flame Spread Ratings and Smoke Developed Classifications as outlined in Table 3.4?

Electrical System

  1. Electrical inspection completed within the past year?
  1. Thermographic inspection of the entire electrical system, completed during the period when the barn is at its peak electrical demand, completed within the past year?
  1. Any wiring passing through concealed spaces is enclosed in conduit?
  1. All electrical connections are hard wired (no extension cords)?
  1. An electrical/mechanical room contains components, including the main electrical panel, and is separated from the livestock air space with properly constructed fire rated walls (1 hour minimum).
  1. All electrical equipment used in the barn displays a Canadian electrical approval stamp (e.g. CSA, ULC)?

Heating System

  1. Open flame box heaters or radiant tube heaters (that draw combustion air or exhaust directly into the barn space) are not used in a barn where methane gas can accumulate in significant concentrations?
  1. Sufficient space exists between all heating appliances and combustible building features (minimum clearance requirements maintained)?
  1. Heat shields for all heaters are in place (if required)?
  1. Maintenance checks of all heating devices have been completed as per the manufacturer’s recommendations (minimum once per year)?
  1. Bollards are used to protect propane and liquid fuel tanks and gas valves from vehicle impact?

Stored Products

  1. Less than a two day supply of hay, straw, sawdust, feed or similar products are stored within barn?
  1. Separate buildings are used to store larger quantities of hay, straw, sawdust, feed or similar products. Buildings are separated by a minimum distance of 30 m (100 ft) or by using a fire separation with a minimum rating of 1 hour (i.e. providing exterior walls).
  1. Clutter and combustible products are removed from the barn on a regular basis?
  1. Flammables (diesel, gas, propane) are stored in approved containers that are regularly inspected (minimum once per year)?

Laneway and Water Supply (verify these items with local fire department)

  1. An all-weather laneway provides adequate fire truck access to the required sides of the building?
  1. Roadway is regularly maintained (snow removed, adequately graded)?
  1. Adequate, year-round accessible water is available on-farm for fighting fires?
  1. A standard remote connector (hydrant) is installed adjacent to the water supply for direct connection by the local fire department?

Safety, Exit and Lighting

  1. Sufficient number of exits is available to allow safe exit from all storeys and rooms?
  1. Emergency lighting and signage is available to mark the location of all exits?
  1. Proper ladders and stairs are used for exterior exit from upper storeys?
  1. Fire extinguishers are in place and all employees are trained for proper use?
  1. A clear path of travel to and through all exits is in place.

For more information:
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