Fires in barns and other farm buildings can be devastating in terms of loss of property, livestock, and sometimes lives. The farm, by nature, is a naturally abundant source of fuel. Tall grass, hay, straw, and other tall foliage are excellent sources for an unexpected fire. Follow this checklist to help you identify dangers today in order to prevent possible fire losses tomorrow.
- Keep the interior of the building clean – Remove any debris or unused items. Properly dispose of any pesticides and other chemicals not being used by following local and state regulations. Minimize buildup of cob webs and dust. All these things can help spread a fire quickly throughout the barn.
- Keep debris, brush, shavings, manure piles at least 50ft away from the barn.
- Keep area around buildings mowed.
- Ban all smoking in and around the building. Post “No Smoking” signs.
- Keep electrical outlets, receptacles, and panel boxes free of rust and corrosion. Make sure wires do not have fraying and lights have proper covers. A periodic electrical inspection of a building is a good practice.
- Refuel equipment and vehicles outside of the building. Keep refueling tanks at least 50ft from the building. Allow all equipment and vehicles to cool down before storing them in the building. Keep all equipment and vehicles well maintained, because with this drought one spark can start a fire in pasture.
- Have fire extinguishers in all buildings and in your vehicle or equipment at all times.
- Mow and bale hay at optimum low moisture levels, and follow all proper baling, storing, and temperature monitoring practices to help prevent spontaneous combustion. Recommended moisture content for large stacks or round bales is 15- 18% and for conventional square bales 20-25%. Do not store bales tightly against each other, but instead place bales where air can circulate freely. If you have questions about hay storage, moisture testing or temperature testing, contact your local agriculture extension.
Remember, the most important thing is to remain safe. Thanks for reading and please keep our local agency in mind for all your farm/ranch, equine, home, auto, life, and other insurance needs. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns, or changes. We are here for you!
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No person associated with this news letter receives any form of compensation for any products mentioned, nor should any mention of a particular product be considered an endorsement of that product. This newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be considered authoritative on any topic. Please seek advice from an appropriate professional on any specific issue.