Equestrian advice: how to prevent stable fires

How to prevent stable fires

How to prevent stable fires - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Stable yards have a high risk of fire if proper safety precautions are not carried out. The British Horse Society advises on ways to cut the risk

The impact of fire on the UK’s equine community was the hot topic for the British Horse Society’s Safety Conference, which was held at The Royal Veterinary College in London in September.

Fire safety will be a major focus for the British Horse Society next year, because, as Lee Hackett, the society’s director of policy said, ‘Fire can cause devastation in almost any situation but at equestrian premises the risk is greatly heightened by the huge quantities of flammable materials.’

It can take just four minutes for fire and smoke to cause fatal injuries to a horse. Most equestrian establishments are in rural areas, making it important for the fire service to be able to reach premises as quickly as possible.

If you own or work on a livery yard or riding school it is vital that you have a plan in place should a fire occur. All staff and people visiting the yard need to be aware of the procedure in case of a fire and this should be practiced regularly. Steps should also be taken to reduce the chance of a fire happening, such as not overloading electrical sockets and storing flammable items away from the main stables and buildings.

British Horse Society volunteer safety officers work in their local communities to help horse owners to minimise fire risk. BHS volunteer manager Lisa Cowley said, ‘We are fortunate that we have a dedicated team of volunteer safety officers who support us across the UK, educating and advising people on all aspects of equestrian safety. It was wonderful to see so many of them at the conference, as well as the proprietors of our approved centres. If people are interested in making a difference for horses and riders in their area, I would urge them to get in touch and be part of the action.’

To get involved as a BHS volunteer or to host a safety event at your yard, visit bhs.org.uk or email volunteer@bhs.org.uk