Fire Safety & Farming

Farming! The heat of summertime can bring issues for farms. Farm fires can be devastating, causing loss of machinery, livestock, stores of hay and straw, and the loss of important buildings. Many combustible materials are often stored in or around farm buildings causing high risks. Also, due to the often isolated location of some farms, fires can quickly get out of hand.

Here are some of the biggest risks on the farm, and what you can do.

1. Farm vehicles and machinery

Ensure machinery is well maintained and serviced to the manufacturer's recommendations, and clean machinery regularly to keep it free from hay, straw, oil and grease. Fit fire extinguishers to farm machinery to catch fires early, and also get familiar with the location of the extinguishers with knowledge on how to use them.

2. Hay fires

When storing hay, make sure to store it away from other buildings, especially those containing fuels or chemicals. Store hay and straw away from electrical components, for example, lighting and battery chargers.

3. Hot works

When carrying out tasks such as welding or grinding, it could only take one small spark to cause an issue, make sure to carry out hot works in isolated areas away from flammable substances and buildings used to store hay/straw.

4. Electrical Faults

Make sure regular maintenance is carried out to ensure fixtures are safe to be used. If possible replace older type bulb-type lighting with newer fittings to decrease the chances of ignition. LED lighting burns a lot more efficiently than older bulbs and produces less heat in the process.

5. Arson

Some fires can be caused on purpose, there is a number of things you can do to keep safe from this. Installing camera systems on key areas, locking sheds and buildings, keep all fuels, chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers locked away.

Be ready for fire

  • Keep escape routes clear at times and also keep areas free from rubbish, and other combustible materials.

  • Make sure people know what to do in the event of a fire, and carry communication devices like mobile phones to ensure you can get in contact with people fast.

  • Make sure you keep your fire extinguishers in good working order and ensure they're serviced regularly. It is important that everyone knows where the extinguishers are located for easy emergency use.