Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire service issue fire safety advice to horse owners and livery yards

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging livery yards and stables to check their fire safety measures following a devastating fire at a livery yard in Burnham which killed a dozen horses this week.

Head of Technical Fire Safety, Mark Earwicker, said:

“By their very nature, stables and livery yards are at risk of fires. Their location is often in secluded, rural areas which means a fire may be well underway before the alarm is raised. Also, the construction of the buildings often utilises combustible materials such as wooden boards and timber frames and the contents are highly flammable items such as hay, straw, feed and blankets.

The risk of fire occurring in stables can be minimised through building design, fire warning devices and good management practices. Livery yards and stables may fall under the control of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This means that they must have a suitable fire risk assessment and implement appropriate fire safety precautionary measures.

The Fire Safety Risk Assessment for Animal Premises and Stables guidance provides information regarding what needs to be done to comply with fire safety legislation.

Further safety measures that should be followed by stables, including single or private premises include:

  • Keeping all electrical appliances, machinery and their associated wiring in good repair and not overloading sockets.
  • Taking care to safely store highly flammable hay, bedding, feed and equipment (including fuels, oils and solvents), preferably away from equine accommodation.
  • Ban smoking or put strictly controlled smoking policies in place.
  • Be mindful that fire could start from an act of arson and/or when least expected and put measures in place which would offer protection in such circumstances.

For further information relating to fire risk assessments please contact:

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service - Technical Fire Safety team:


Site by Pingala Media