House Fans Aren't Safe for Your Barn, and Here's Why

Posted by Paige Cerulli

Did you know that your fan may pose a serious fire hazard in your barn? Here's what you need to know about choosing a safe fan. 

The summer has finally arrived, and with it come hot, humid days. A fan can help to keep your horses cooler when they're in the barn, and it even has the added bonus of deterring flies in your stable.

But if you're using a fan in your barn, please take a moment and read this important safety alert. Your horse's life could depend on it.

Here's the scoop: House fans, like your typical box fan, are NOT safe for barn use. Sure, everyone uses them, but the truth is that these fans have a major design flaw that can lead to barn fires.

barn fire
Cambrideshire Fire and Rescue/Flickr

House fans are built with motors that have vented motors. The motors aren't designed to withstand the increased dust present in barns, and the dust can clog the motors.

The issue occurs when the motors get clogged and burn out. Hot parts of the motor can fall out of the fan, down onto flammable hay, sawdust, or anything else that lies below. These fan elements are so hot that they can catch hay or sawdust on fire, starting a barn fire.

house fan

There are a few other hazards that a house fan can pose in a barn setting. House fans do not have thermostatic overload switches. These switches shut off a fan if the fan overheats, cutting the power before the fan gets too hot to cause a fire.

You may also want to find a fan which is rated to get wet. Even if you don't intend to get a fan wet, it can certainly happen if it's positioned near a doorway or near a wash stall in your barn.

To install fans in your barn safely, it's essential to invest in a fan that is specifically designed for barn use. Make sure that the fan has a fully enclosed motor (it will say so on the packaging) and that the fan has a thermostatic overload switch. It's also advisable to find a fan which is rated for outdoor use, and which can get wet.

READ MORE6 Safety Tips for Transporting Your Horse

These true barn fans may cost a bit more, but the investment is well worth it if you can avoid a potential barn fire. It's just not worth it to risk your horse's life by using a fan that poses a fire hazard.

Do you use fans in your barn? Tell us in the comments below.

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House Fans Aren't Safe for Your Barn, and Here's Why