Gateway Gazette

Fire Prevention Week: Farm Safety

LIFE-SAVING TIPS:

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside all bedrooms and in all principal buildings.
  • Install the appropriate fire extinguishers in key areas.
  • Work with the local fire department to develop and practice a fire escape plan with family and employees, and determine a meeting place.
  • Identify who may require special assistance (the elderly and handicapped).
  • Make sure buildings are well-spaced.
  • Keep cistern and stock pond relatively full and provide clear access to water source.
  • Ensure that appropriate fire protection equipment is accessible.

CHECKLIST:

  • Keep fire department numbers posted on all telephones.
  • Ensure all electrical wiring is inspected and up to code.
  • Ensure all electrical equipment has a nationally recognized testing agency certification.
  • Replace worn wiring and use only 15 amp fuses unless otherwise specified.
  • Remove wiring and lighting from wet areas.
  • Inspect and maintain fire extinguishers regularly.

MACHINERY/EQUIPMENT – KEEP IT CLEAN, SAFE AND INSPECTED:

  • Before installing heating equipment, check product certification and insurance requirements.
  • Ensure that the pump is on a separate electrical circuit and located away from other buildings, to safeguard the pressure of the water supply for fire fighters.
  • Refuel equipment and internal combustion engines outside, but never while running and only once cool.
  • Ensure that crop dryers are equipped with adequate controls enabling them to shut off blowers or dampers when temperatures become too high in the heat transfer chamber.
  • Never use “home-made” dryers.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • Designate safe smoking areas away from barns, crops, stores or flammable materials.
  • Before burning, check regulations with your local authority.
  • Burn rubbish in an incinerator equipped with a spark arrestor and never in a high wind.
  • Keep a pail of water nearby.
  • Never carry out field burning.
  • Do not use fumigants near an open flame or electric equipment.
  • Clean up. Remove all trash from the property.
  • Repaint weathered surfaces and remove rotting wood and fencing.

SAFE STORAGE: SPONTANEOUS IGNITION OF CROPS CAUSES FIRES

BEFORE STORING:

  • Provide proper ventilation.
  • Ensure crops – hay, alfafa, clover, soybean hays – are well-dried and properly cured.
  • Make sure wet grains are below the safe moisture content before storage.
  • Check for spontaneous heating hazards regularly, e.g. manure pile.
  • Repair leaking roofs and openings to protect stored crops against wetness.

DURING STORAGE:

  • Inspect daily for signs of steaming, irritating odours, wet areas and “flues” in the hay for several weeks.
  • Have fire fighting equipment immediately accessible.
  • Petroleum products should be stored above ground at least 12 metres (40 feet) from any other building, in a tank on non-combustible support. In all cases vent pipes not less than 3 centimetres (1 1/4″) in diameter and cap them with weatherproof hoods.
  • Petroleum products should be dispensed from storage tanks with appropriate

(Source: Fire Prevention Canada)

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