Barn fires have affected the horse and livestock industry for as long as we humans have been attempting to protect valuable animals by using protective construction. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is attempting to collect information for improving their recommendations to fire departments that respond to these types of disasters. TLAER, Inc. has been collecting information and documenting barn fires for over 15 years and is asking for assistance from the public towards improving our understanding and scientific basis for barn fire response.
Researchers at Technical Large Animal Equine Rescue, Inc. (www.tlaer.org) are conducting a focused study on Animal Barn Fire Occurrences over a one year period, and are seeking affected participants to complete an online survey.
Graduate student Kristi May (Murray State University in Kentucky) is collecting information on Barn Fires, looking specifically at those that have occurred between October 2013 to October 2014. However, other past horse and animal barn fire data is welcome and will be documented--she is interested in any human and animal losses or injuries--as well as cause of the fire and type of emergency response.
"We hope to use the results of our study to help document then develop better barn fire response tactics and standards in the equine and livestock industries," she said.
Recently, the NFPA updated their Standard 150 “Animal Housing” and are collecting information from barn fires in the past--data from May’s survey will be provided to the researchers at NFPA in January.
May is hoping to collect information from horse and livestock owners across the country: "We want to get a good representation of the country as a whole, and the more responses we get, the better we can tailor improvements and recommendations in fire responses by local departments. We will obtain responses from as many disciplines and levels of the agricultural industry as possible."
Livestock and horse owners who have experienced a barn fire or have a friend affected by fire (and are over the age of 18) can find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XK6MS87.
Questions can be directed to Kristi May, BS, AHT, at LegendAcres@Hotmail.com, and she asks that you share on your social media.