Please note: This safety advice is offered as guidance only. If in doubt, Get out, Stay out and get the Fire and Rescue Service out!
Within the County of Shropshire there are a very large number of stables and livery yards. These are often in quite remote areas and unless the fire safety arrangements are robustly managed, then the risk of a fire occurring and the subsequent danger to the animals is of course extremely high.
The British Horse Society has a membership of some 20,000 individuals including 815 registered stables. The Society clearly recognises the dangers of fire and has made efforts to ensure that their members take precautions to minimise this risk.
In 2008 Christine Doran from the BHS contacted Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to discuss the provision of 'Stable Risk Plans' so that in the event of a fire, the owner would be able to provide the Fire Officer with comprehensive plans of the stable complex including the location of water supplies for fire fighting. Clearly these would be of great value to our crews should they have to attend such an incidents.
- The crews would be able to rapidly locate and bring into action fire fighting water supplies in areas where it is often quite difficult to locate them.
- Firefighters would be able to quickly find their way around the complex reducing the time taken to start evacuating live stock.
Following Chris’s letter, a meeting between the BHS and SFRS was arranged to see how we could help. From the onset of the meeting it was clear that by working together we could greatly enhance the fire safety of the equestrian community in Shropshire.
Already we have been able to circulate a Fire safety in stables advice sheet via the BHS normal mail shots. For the future we plan to contribute to their periodical magazine, present fire safety advice at seminars and meetings, support each others public events (such as these) to reach as wide a population as possible, and of course offer free fire safety advice to stable and livery yard owners.
- Fire safety in stables advice sheet - Appendix B37
We are sure that this will lead to greater awareness of the need for fire safety in stables and as a result we will enjoy a significant reduction in damage in stable complex’s and loss of life to animals as a consequence of fire.
The BHS has shown initiative, responsibility and foresight in taking the lead in this partnership and we hope that other organisations in the equestrian community will take note and do likewise.