Hay storage is necessary for any horse stable. If you own a horse stable and don't have a separate structure to store hay, it's a good idea for you to install a fire suppression system to protect your stable and your horses from fires. The reason for this is because hay is combustible. It may sound odd, but wet hay has a greater likelihood of combusting than dry hay. Here's what you need to know and how you can protect your stable and horses.
Spontaneous Combustion of Wet Hay
The sugars in the plants naturally respire, even after the plants are cut. Respiration produces energy. Where there is energy there is heat. Baled hay is tightly compacted, which means the respiration, and the heat that is produced, continues in a tightly confined area. The naturally occurring bacteria that is found in the plants contributes to the rapid increase of the heat because bacteria also produces heat, especially thermophilc bacteria, which loves heat.
Because of all of this, temperatures within a hay bale can easily exceed 170°F. These high temperatures can cause hot spots to form, which can lead to pockets of fire and, thus, increase the temperature even further. At 200ºF, a fire will likely occur, which can result in spontaneous combustion.
Fire Suppression Systems for Horse Stables
Due to this risk of spontaneous combustion, it is important for you to store your hay in a separate structure instead of inside your horse stable. If you do not have a separate structure and are unable to build one, it is crucial for you to install a fire suppression in your horse stable, particularly where you store the hay.
A fire suppression system for your barn should include a dry sprinkler system, heat detectors, and a fire alarm monitor. Additionally, install a backup generator to kick in should there be a loss of power in your horse barn. The reason for this is because dry sprinkler systems use air compressors to control the flow of water when needed. The pipes will remain dry until the air compressor shuts off and no longer holds the water back.
Another thing to consider for fire protection in your barn is to install exterior doors in each of the stalls. You can have these doors configured to automatically open when the sprinkler system is activated by the heat detectors. Then, your horses will be able to safely escape the burning barn without any assistance from humans. For more information, visit a website such as http://thesafetyteaminc.com.