First it was Toilet Paper…now Baby Chicks? Emerging Trends with a Fire Safety Twist

With Covid-19 dominating the headlines, there have been some surprising trends below the surface. One of those is the buy out of chicks across the United States. According to a recent New York Times article, for the next few weeks, baby chickens will be nearly impossible to find. Each spring, feed stores and farm supply stores stock baby chicks around Easter. This year, families are purchasing chicks to set up their own supply chain for eggs. With lines around the corner at feed stores, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind if you are planning to build a chicken coop or already have one:

  • Make sure that heat lamps are properly secured to keep them from being knocked over
  • Keep heat lamps at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Place space heaters on a sturdy surface so they won't be knocked over and keep them at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Regularly brush cobwebs and dust from light fixtures and outlets.
  • Choose light bulbs that have covers to protect them from dirt, moisture, and breaking.
  • Do not use extension cords in the coop.
  • Choose electrical equipment designed for agricultural or commercial use.
  • Be careful with electrically heated poultry waterers. Make sure the cord and plug are properly grounded.
  • Check all wiring for damage.
  • Have electrical work done by a qualified electrician
  • Choose outlets and switch boxes designed to keep out dust and water.

Download NFPA's safety tip sheet for these and other tips to help protect your family, your property and your flock from the tragedy of fire.

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Kelly Ransdell
Regional Director, South Central Region