Using Linear Heat Detection in Barns and Stables

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Barns and stables are agricultural buildings, most commonly found on farms, that are used to keep livestock such as horses and cattle as well as equipment, feed and hay. Traditionally, barns and stables were timber or stone built structures, however, modern barns are more typically constructed from concrete or steel.

Barns and stables are often very large buildings with high ceilings. Many older barns were built with gambrel roofs - a symmetrical roof with two slopes on each side - to maximise the size of the roof space, often used for storage (more traditionally hay storage - known as a hay loft).

With the valuable livestock and machinery kept in these buildings it is crucial that they are sufficiently protected from fire. However, providing a reliable and practical fire detection solution doesn't come without its challenges.

Risks and Challenges

What are the Risks?

There are a number of fire risks associated with barns and stables:

  • Combustible materials
    Bedding and feed for animals kept within barns and stables is often highly combustible. Dry feed, hay and straw used for bedding can easily ignite causing fire to spread rapidly throughout the building.
  • Machinery and Equipment
    Faulty or ill maintained electrical and mechanical equipment, such as heating equipment or farming machinery, are a common source of ignition and can present a high risk of fire in a barn or stable environment.
  • Livestock and Rodents
    Not only do barns and stables house livestock, they are also prone to rodent infestation. Chewed or damaged electrical cables and machinery also presents a high risk of fire.

What are the Challenges?

Barns and stables are very different to typical buildings and therefore present an array of unique challenges:

  • Large, unmanned spaces
    Barns and stables often are large open spaces with high ceilings. These voluminous areas can cause difficulty when trying to reliably detect the presence of smoke or fire. On top of this, barns and stables are usually stand-alone buildings that are unmanned and therefore require a fully automated fire alarm system.
  • Cleaning equipment and animal waste
    Animal waste, strong cleaning agents, and power hoses mean that traditional heat and smoke detectors will be unreliable and ineffective.

What is the Solution?

A FyreLine linear heat detection system can provide the ideal solution for protecting a barn or stable from fire.

There are two types of heat sensing cable available in the FyreLine range, fixed temperature (digital) and analogue:

FyreLine Digital

FyreLine digital heat sensing cable is made up of two conducting wires that are twisted together. Each conductor is coated in a heat sensitive polymer which melts when it is heated to its rated temperature. The resulting short sends a signal of fire, or excessive heat, to the fire alarm control panel.


FyreLine Analogue

Fyreline Analogue heat sensing cable monitors significant changes in temperature and, therefore, is capable of providing both pre-alarm and alarm conditions. This allows potential fires to be investigated before action is taken and reduces the risk of false alarm.

Both variations of FyreLine heat sensing cable is available with a nylon coating which provides the ideal solution for areas where hazardous chemicals are present. Therefore, a nylon coating should be used in barn and warehouse environments where there is a risk of exposure to ammonia and other chemicals. Nylon coated heat sensing cable also provides excellent UV protection for areas that are exposed to sunlight.  

FyreLine linear heat detection systems are fully approved by American approval body, UL - a global independent safety company, identifying that they are safe for use in living and working environments.

Similar to its use in a regular, open warehouse Fyreline heat detection cable should be installed in the roof space or ceiling and around, or nearby any high risk machinery or equipment. Care should be taken to avoid any hot spots that are created by the regular operation of farm equipment.

If a ventilation system is present the cooling effect of the fans can delay the reaction of the heat sensing cable. Adversely, the location and function of the fans may act as a chimney, concentrating the hot air through ventilation ducts, in this instance heat sensing cable can be placed within the airflow for increased protection.


For more information about the FyreLine Linear Heat Detection System, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

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Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

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