Don’t Let Range Fires Send Your Dreams Up In Smoke
Minimize the risk of farm and ranch fires by reducing the source of fuel:
- Keep your machine shed clean. Make sure all solvents, lubricants and other chemicals are stored in their proper containers, with the lids closed tightly.
- Make sure oily rags are disposed of properly and not left in a pile.
- Keep surrounding grounds mowed. Clear shrubbery from around all buildings (house, outbuildings, barn, etc.) and eliminate dead vegetation and other debris.
- Store hay and other bedding away from buildings.
- Eliminate large piles of organic material, which can self-ignite as they decompose.
Limit potential sources of ignition:
- Don’t allow smoking near buildings where flammable materials are stored.
- Don’t park vehicles with a hot engine over combustible materials. Exhaust system components with a damaged heat shield can reach temperatures of 800 degrees or higher.
- Treat all motor vehicles as heat generation sources that can start combustion.
- Check all electrical systems to make sure there are no bare wires exposed and that all connections meet safety codes. If in doubt, have a licensed electrical contractor inspect and correct any problems.
- If using an electric fence, install controllers outside buildings, and secure them to a noncombustible base. Locate controllers away from flammable materials.
- Keep barn fans and electric motors free of dust.
- Keep combines and other machinery clear of chaff and trash.
- Install lightning-suppression systems properly and keep them well maintained.
- Keep fences clear of dead/dry vegetation.
Other points to remember:
- Make your property easily accessible to emergency vehicles.
- Only use electrical appliance approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Have a fire emergency plan in place; practice it with your family.
- Place fire extinguishers in strategic locations in all of your farm buildings.