Fire safety and prevention tips for farmers and rural property owners. Fire safety tips for acreage owners. How to prevent fire on the farm. What are some common fire hazards on a farm? Learn some tips in regards to fire prevention. Am I allowed to burn my garbage or do I need a permit to have a fire?
March is Fire Prevention Month.
This article will address specific fire hazard concerns for rural people, those who have farms, horse boarding stables, own livestock, or have an acreage.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of fires. There should be no smoking allowed in the barn, near straw and hay, or in dry fields. In many cases a fire started by a cigarette will smolder unnoticed before becoming an actual blaze. If you smoke it should not in in these high risk areas. Guests should not be allowed to smoke, and “No Smoking” signs should be posted at every door to your barn, and near your hay shed.
Another concern is the farm equipment itself. A hot engine can start a fire. Never idle vehicles in, or near, tall, dry, grass. Again a fire would usually smolder and could go unnoticed until too late.
Keep grass mowed so it does not become a fire hazard in dry weather. Make sure the county mows the grass along side the road, or maintain it yourself, as this is a fire hazard when drivers toss out cigarette butts.
All farm chemicals, and gasoline, should be stored safely. Many farm chemicals are highly flammable.
Many farmers, and rural people, burn their own garbage and brush. Check with your county to see if there are laws in regards to requiring a burn permit. Some areas require permits year round, others require permits in the spring, summer, and fall, but allow burning without a permit in the winter. A few areas do not require you to have a burn permit but common sense should still be used. Burning garbage, and brush, is usually done in a burn barrel, or burn pit, located well away from the barns, and hay. Fires are best started early enough in the day to ensure they will be out by evening. Fires should always be monitored. Never set a fire on a windy day. Having a fire in a light rain, or when rain is expected, can be a good idea.
If your barn is heated with a furnace or heater, these should receive proper maintenance, yearly, before being used.
If you have heat lamps for chicks or newborn animals, such as lambs, these must be secure, you would not want them to fall into the straw where they would start a fire – be sure animals cannot knock them down either.
Manure piles, and old bales of moldy hay, should be treated as combustible and kept a safe distance from the barn.
Every barn should be equipped with a fire extinguisher and people should be aware how to use them.
Know your neighbors, make sure they know you. Have a neighborhood watch. If anyone notes a fire they should be able to call the property owner, and the fire department.