Adding Heat to Horse Barn’s Tack Room for Coming Winter

Is there a safe way to add some heat to our tack room for this winter without running the risk of a barn fire?

If you use a portable heater in your tack room, you should make sure it has several features that make it safer.

Question for Animal Arts

Is there a safe way to add some heat to our tack room for this winter without running the risk of a barn fire?

Answer from Animal Arts

This is an excellent question; heating a tack room requires some caution.

For a small room such as a tack room, a portable (space) heater is the only reasonable, low-cost option. A space heater can be used safely, but you’ll need to have strict guidelines for its purchase, and operation. Get a low profile heater that:

  • Has a built-in thermostat so it will shut off when the space reaches a certain temperature.
  • Has an automatic safety overheating shutoff. It will shut off before overheating.
  • Has an automatic tip shutoff. It will shut off automatically if tipped over.
  • In addition to the above, look for one that has a cover over the heating elements and has a low profile so it’s less likely to tip over.

For safe operations, we recommend the following:

  • The heater must be placed in a specific, dedicated space in the tack room.
  • Nothing should be placed within three feet of the heater. Attach bright colored tape on the floor around the heater and post a sign explaining that for everyone’s safety, the heater must stay in the taped boundary.
  • Always plug directly into a wall outlet and never use an extension cord. If you don’t have a wall outlet in the location where the heater will be placed, then have one installed.
  • Keep the floor clean in the tack room.
  • Post a sign asking your boarders to shut off the heater when they leave.

If your boarders do not follow the safety guidelines for the heater, then remove it. But I bet they will in order to have a toasty place to warm up.

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