Farm Fire Safety
April 15th, 2016
Farm Fire Safety
This article comes from a Canadian Website www.askthefarmer.com. but none the less the comments are just as valid over here.
Living on the farm, especially during dry weather that often accompanies harvest, we have to be very mindful of fire safety; though fires are a risk year round. Barn fires which result in loss of buildings and livestock can be emotionally and financially devastating to farmers, and each year in Canada alone there are approximately 800 deaths due to fires. It doesn’t take much for a fire to start, especially during a fire ban, so here are some fire prevention tips for farmers.
Fire Safety on the Farm
Install Portable Fire Extinguishers — Fire extinguishers should be available in every truck and piece of farm equipment/tractor that drive into a field and in all farm buildings. Make sure everyone on the farm knows how to operate a fire extinguisher and that the extinguishers are maintained
Safely Drive Into a Field — Hot vehicle engines are a big cause of fires in the field, park over very low stubble or only drive machines/trucks that are tall enough to clear the stubble. Think twice about harvesting on a dry, hot, windy day.
Know How to Contact Your Fire Department — The number for your local fire department should be readily available on your phone and/or in the vehicles and farm buildings. Have a safety plan in place for the farm and make sure your farm is easily identifiable to emergency responders.
Practice Good Housekeeping — Farm buildings and farm yards should be free of brush and debris. For barns there is fire-retardant gypsum board that can be used over plywood.
Check Electrical Wiring — Periodically inspect for fraying and indications of wear or pest/rodent damage. Have all new or any suspected problems with your electrical installations and wiring inspected and approved by licensed electricians.
Safe Use of Heat Lamps — Make sure that light bulbs and heat lamps in the barn are protected with wire guards, and ensure heat lamps are away from combustible materials
Absolutely NO SMOKING On the Farm — Smoking is a leading cause for farm fires, please don’t smoke–not only for fire prevention but for your health too! If people do smoke make sure they properly extinguish their cigarettes.
Store and Use Flammable Liquids Safely — Fuel should never be stored inside a building and other flammable liquids should be stored in a separate building and marked.
Did you know according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), “defective or improperly used heating equipment is the number one cause of barn and stable fires”?
These are only a few of the many tips that should be followed on the farm. For more fire safety and fire prevention tips, here is a Fire Safety Tips for Farm Management sheet from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. Information for this post was used from the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Devlopment and Farm Safety Association websites.