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Was at a friends house in rural Ohio one day and a barn about 1/4 mi away caught fire. We noticed the smoke first. Then as we watched the entire structure was engulfed in flames. Old weathered barn. Farmer stored hay inside. In 15 minutes it was a pile of ash. Fire dept showed up and sprayed the embers. Absolutely shocking how fast the entire structure went up.

Here is a really good article concerning Barn Fires...Jan,Feb,Mar three worse months. 700pm to 0700am worse times. Heaters, elec equip largest cause.

Barn Fire Safety - Fire Safety In Barns
 

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Been on several over the years. They go up fast, most have heavy fire load in them, are dry and usually remote and by the time they are discovered fire has a hell of a head start before FD can’t get there. Worst fear at home is our barns. Don’t even want to think of it.
 

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I hate to see the old wood barns go. The one on my farm was taken out by wind. We thought tornado, but weather service said "straight line" winds. Blew door off, took off 1/2 the roof, blew the back off the stone foundation.

The next farm over, owner burnt theirs, (at least 4th or 5th owners), it was not being used, and they told me they wanted try and lower their tax burden.
 

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Besides here, I also participate on-line in a group of "homesteaders". They're mostly suburban wanna-be-farmer types who's hearts are in the right places but don't think things through. Every winter there are horror stories of barns, chicken coops, etc.. burning.

If you've got animals and/or hay/straw stored in a building, that building is going go be coated with dust. That dust will ignite and burn in a hurry. Fires spread fast in that environment and you've got a building full of fuel to keep it going. If the fire dept does get there, they're just going to hang back and try to keep it from spreading to other buildings.

I keep seeing people asking how to get electricity out to their barns/coops so they can run heaters for their animals when it gets cold. The animals don't need it. They're fine. I don't want electricity or heat anywhere near my coops.
 

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From some data about 10 years ago, about 25 percent of all accidental structural (including both houses and barns) fires were caused by electric fans. Almost every horse barn has fans of varying quality mounted above or in front of each horse stall to keep the horses cool. Many folks use cheap plastic box fans. These cheaper box fans have open motor windings, and in a barn they are frequently covered with dust, hay chaff, or worse, flammable spider webs
.:spider:
 
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