Like any other business, a farm should have in place the correct type and number of extinguishers, all stored in right places, to manage a potential fire. On a farm in particular, having extinguishers suitable for putting out a fire caused by farm equipment for example will stop a fire spreading to your out buildings, stock and crops.
There are many different types of extinguishers which are rated for the type of fire they’re made to extinguish as follows:
A – Combustible materials such as wood, paper and hay
B – Flammable liquids such as gas, oil, grease and other petroleum products
C – Electrical fires
D – Flammable metals
You need to carry out a risk assessment taking into account the size of your farm, the types of materials you have stored on your farm and the likelihood of a fire breaking out. Only then will you be in a position to know which type and how many extinguishers you will need.
The risk assessment will also help to identify where you should store extinguishers on your farm. You need to pay particular attention to farm equipment which could be at risk of catching fire and ensure you have the appropriate types and numbers of extinguishers nearby.
Other key areas include:
You and your farm employees also need to know how to use a fire extinguisher in order to put out a fire and prevent it from spreading.
It’s important to know that you should discharge the contents fully to ensure the blaze is out. After successfully suppressing a fire, keep a close eye on it for a while in case of a flare up. If possible, safely move the problem material outside. If the fire flares up again to minimise risk.
Once an extinguisher is activated, it will need to be refilled and serviced..
If a fire is large and flames are lapping at the ceiling, or if the building is rapidly filling with smoke, you should evacuate the building and call emergency services. Don’t attempt to put a large fire like this out yourself.
There are things that you can do to minimise the risk of a fire on your farm or in your farm buildings as follows:
It’s also a good idea to enforce a no smoking rule inside a building or areas where flammable and combustible materials are stored or near storage, shipping or receiving areas where boxes or other containers can easily start a fire.
On a farm, given the devastation a fire could reap on your business, it’s also important to have all of your fire safety equipment checked and serviced regularly.
At Hartson Fire, this is one of the services we offer to all our clients including farmers. You can find out more about our fire extinguisher servicing here or alternatively, you can call us on the number below to book your annual service: