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Fire safety reminder to farmers


Date: 2nd August, 2021

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding farmers of the importance of keeping up cleaning and maintenance schedules during the harvest period.

Every year, the Service is called to deal with numerous fires involving farm machinery, hay bales, fields and barns.

Group Manager Graham Kewley said: “As the harvest goes on, farmers are working long, hard hours and it’s easy to let chaff and dust build up in the machines, which can then catch fire if parts of the combine then overheat.

“The problem is compounded when machinery is worked extra hard between periods of inclement weather, or when crops are harvested and stored in less than ideal conditions. Baling hay that is damp can create a real fire hazard, as this can lead to heat build-up and eventual self-combustion within the bale.”

The Service is also reminding farmers of the requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment for their buildings. Part of this process should identify access and water supplies to assist firefighters and the location of hazards such as cylinders, fertilisers and flammable liquids.

GM Kewley said: “We also encourage farmers to have a farm emergency plan – this can save vital minutes in the event of an incident, and will help firefighters to deal with a fire more quickly and more safely.”

NFU Mutual has produced a safety checklist for farmers to help prevent combine fires and accidents during harvest:

Further information can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/fire-risks-on-farms

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