Are you ready for fire? | Michigan Farm News

Are you ready for fire?

Category: People

by Farm Bureau Insurance

Every farm should have a written plan detailing how employees should respond to fires and where to go in case of an emergency.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, agricultural fires annually account for $102 million in property damage and result in 25 fatalities.

Any fire has the potential to create a catastrophic loss and interrupt your production schedule. Farm Bureau Insurance is committed to assisting you as you keep your family, your employees and your operation safe from fire. Here are a few helpful tips:

Develop a plan: What would you do in case of a fire? How would your employees evacuate? Every farm should have a written plan detailing how employees should respond to fires and where to go in case of an emergency.

Have all emergency numbers posted where all employees can access them and include the farm’s 911 address. Implement and schedule quarterly fire drills.

Perform a self-inspection: All farms, even the small backyard farm, should be evaluated for potential hazards and conditions that could lead to a fire.

Control potential ignition sources: Strictly enforce a no- smoking policy in and around all farm buildings. Maintain adequate clearance to combustibles around heaters.

Electrical fires: A significant number of fires are electrical fires. Ensure electrical repairs and installations are performed by or inspected by a licensed electrician.

Install and maintain portable fire extinguishers: In 2017, Kidde, a fire extinguisher manufacturer recalled 40 million fire extinguishers because they could became clogged and fail to discharge…Basically making them useless.

This underscores the importance to not only have fire extinguishers on your farm, but to maintain them. Make sure they work, are fully charged, and replace any Kidde models, if you haven’t already.

Training: Make sure you and your team know how to use extinguishers in the event of a fire.

Right tools for the job: Different extinguishers are used for various types of fire, home, electrical, combine. If one of your crops stored in an elevator catches fire, using a foam extinguisher, instead of a water extinguisher could actually make the fire worse. Make sure you have the right extinguishers in case of the unexpected.

Be careful when using fire: Keep burning brush piles well away from the barn and maintain at least a 50 foot fire break around the barn. Many barn fires are started when the small brush pile that someone is burning spreads to farm structures.