10 Fire Prevention Tips for the Farm
“Insurance statistics show that the two most common times of the year for barn fires are summer and winter. Summer fires are often the result of electrical storms or spontaneous combustion of hot hay. Winter fires are caused by appliances, rodents chewing through wires, or the accumulation of dust and cobwebs on electrical surfaces. Heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in barns with heat lamps as the leading heating equipment involved in these fires.” -Margie Margentino, Karyn Malinowski, and Sara Malone at Rutgers University
Gas and electric heating systems for the sheds and buildings should be carefully placed and maintained in order to prevent them from coming into contact with any flammable materials.
Keep heaters clean and clear of debris
Test electrical systems with a qualified electrician AT LEAST every 15 years
Do not store highly flammable materials in the same buildings as livestock
Do not store highly flammable materials with machinery or near electrical or heat sources
Keep hay, bedding, or any flammable materials away from lights, fans, electrical boxes, heaters, and outlets
Outlets and switch boxes should be made of metal and have dust and water-tight covers that close
Portable heaters should not be used in barns or anywhere they can be knocked over
Keep manure piles at least 20 feet away from the barn to avoid spontaneous combustion fires
Closely monitor temperatures in buildings to ensure they do not exceed safe limits
Exit doors should be clearly marked incase a fire does occur
Never let the fire block your path from the exit in attempts to put it out
Keep a fire hose, buckets, and fire extinguisher readily available
Practice fire drills should be held and evacuation routes and procedures in place
Have emergency contacts and phone numbers easily accessible
Be prepared to evacuate if necessary
DO NOT wait until disaster strikes to find out you are insufficiently covered.
Did you know that 92% of Contract Poultry Growers are underinsured and could not recover from a major disaster? Every year family poultry farms go bankrupt because of some sort of catastrophic event after which they realized their insurance programs were woefully insufficient. Do not let this happen to you. Make sure to prepare your farm AND your insurance for disasters.
Click here for the full newsletter from the Rutgers University for more tips on fire prevention!
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