Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) has blogged about fire safety on farms. Please read or share if this is relevant.
Farms are bustling hubs of activity, with various buildings, machinery, and livestock. In the Humber region, we have large rural areas, and we want farmers to feel empowered and informed about preventing fires and being prepared for emergencies. Follow the link below to read our farm safety tips:
Here are some important tips to help keep everyone on the farm safe:
Hay and straw:
Fires can easily spread in dry materials and make sure to store hay and straw away from other buildings, especially those containing fuels or chemicals, and separate from livestock.
Store hay and straw in stacks at least 10 metres apart and ensure there is sufficient space between the top of the stack and electrical roof lighting.
Regularly check electrical equipment for damage like frayed wires or loose connections. Remember to unplug equipment when not in use and avoid overloading sockets. Carry out regular electrical safety checks, especially in areas where straw or hay is stored.
Smart storage for safety:
It’s crucial to store flammable materials like fuels, oils, and chemicals in designated areas away from things that can ignite them. Make sure they are properly labelled and stored in secure containers. Make sure you have completed your COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations) assessment. For further information, read the Government’s advice around COSHH in agriculture.
Take care of machinery:
Keeping farm machinery in good condition is essential for fire prevention. Take a few moments to clean debris from machinery, lubricate moving parts, and fix any mechanical issues right away.
Avoiding fires from human causes:
Cigarettes and smoking pose a fire risk, make sure you have designated areas for smoking away from combustible materials and make sure cigarettes and matches are extinguished properly. Avoid open fires and barbecues and only allow camping and picnicking in controlled areas.
Take care with sparks (hot works):
It only takes one spark landing on dry materials to start a fire. Welding and grinding can pose a high fire risk if carried out in the wrong place. Only carry out hot work, such as welding or grinding, in clear areas well away from any flammable substances and buildings used to store hay and straw.
Create an evacuation plan tailored to your farm’s layout. Make sure everyone knows the evacuation routes, the location of fire extinguishers, and where to gather in case of an emergency.
By following these fire safety measures, you can protect your farm, farm workers, animals, and yourself from potential fire hazards. We are dedicated to working with farmers to make sure a safer future for everyone involved in agriculture.
HFRS has a comprehensive page on farm fire safety here: https://humbersidefire.gov.uk/your-safety/business-safety/fire-safety-on-the-farm