by Nick Gromicko and Kate Tarasenko
A barn is an agricultural building, typically located on a ranch or farm (or former ranch or farm), and used for a variety of purposes, including:
While inspecting barns, inspectors should wear the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE), including boots, gloves and respirators, especially if the structures are older or poorly ventilated. Some inspectors are surprised by how dirty barn air can be, reporting that one can almost taste ammonia or dust in the air. These may be the result of lingering animal waste, a failure to properly clean and maintain the interior of the structure, and/or a failure to make repairs to the structure itself.
Hazards to Look For
In and around the barn, inspectors can look for the following issues:
Some of these fire hazards include:
Inspectors can recommend that owners exercise the following precautions to ensure a safe barn area for both people and animals:
In summary, barns should be maintained properly by their owners as well as inspected for mechanical, electrical and fire hazards by a qualified InterNACHI inspector.
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