OMAFRA Shares Information About How to Prevent Barn Fires

Thank you to George McCaw, Director of Environmental Management Branch of OMAFRA, for providing the following information about the Ministry’s efforts to prevents barn fires. These are great resources for all Ontario farmers!

wisconsin-1826831_640Barn fires can be tragic events for farmers, and the loss of livestock, buildings and equipment can be devastating in many ways. That is why the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food
and Rural Affairs
(OMAFRA) continuously works with farmers and industry stakeholders to develop ways to prevent barn fires.

One of OMAFRA’s strategies is to engage with industry leaders to review barn fire trends. On November 2, OMAFRA hosted a Barn Fire Risk Reduction Advisory Panel meeting that brought together the provincial government, fire personnel, insurance agencies and farm industry leaders to discuss a variety of initiatives regarding barn fire prevention. The initiatives include monitoring programs, technical advice to farmers, contingency planning and opportunities for communication between farmers, insurance companies and local fire departments. The committee will also work on updating Publication 837, “Reducing the Risk of Fire on Your Farm,” as required.

Over the years, we have worked with our stakeholders to identify ways that farmers can plan for emergencies, and monitor and inspect their operations to prevent barn fires. Some of these strategies include:

  • Having a plan ready to deal with any emergency.
  • Having buildings inspected and maintained regularly by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Monitoring the electrical components in the barn (e.g. using infrared and robotic technologies).
  • Working with local fire departments and insurance companies to identify problem areas on the farm, including blocked laneway access to buildings and electrical hotspots, and to fix any issues found.
  • Developing a preventative maintenance and housekeeping schedule
  • Training family and employees on what to do if there is a barn fire: plan what to do with livestock, who to call and establish a safe meeting point.

There are many resources that can help farmers inspect and monitor their operations to reduce the risk of a fire.

Visit the Barn Fire Prevention page of the OMAFRA website to find many more helpful resources.

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