Fire safety – 5 practical tips for preventing fires on farm

26 January 2024

Fire on a farm

Photograph: Yorkshire Pics / Alamy Stock Photo

Fires are an ever-present risk which need to be managed and which can result in loss of farm buildings, loss of produce, injuries and can lead to fatalities. Read our 5 steps on how to minimise the risk of fire.

1. Secure flammable substances

Ensure flammable substances are securely stored away from public. This can include fuel stores, fertilisers, hay and straw bales and chemicals.

In particular, bales can be a target for arson; try to keep them away from any areas of public access. If this is not possible, put in measures to prohibit public access to the bales, such as fencing.

2. Have a fire emergency procedure plan

Complete a fire emergency procedure plan and keep it in a clearly marked place in the event of an emergency.

This can include details of the responsible person(s) on the farm, muster points, evacuation routes for people and livestock, locations of flammable substances and potential sources of ignition, and locations of fire extinguishers and water sources.

3. Use separate storage units

Keep flammable substances and sources of ignition in separate storage units, and at least 10 metres away from livestock. Lithium powered equipment and machines should also be taken into consideration, as these can be self-igniting.

4. Check electrical equipment

Ensure electrical systems and equipment are fit for purpose and in appropriate working order, and do not pose a fire risk.

5. Make use of local resources

Discuss with the local fire service about the prevention and emergency measures in place, to ensure they are suitable and practical. Local WhatsApp groups can be useful in notifying of incidents of arson in the area, to allow other farmers to manage the risk appropriately.

In the event of a fire contact emergency services immediately. Use what3words to direct the fire service. Prepare to evacuate livestock and ensure that you are in a position to assist the fire service.

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