Farm and rural business fire safety checklist

Farmers and rural businesses need to be alert to the risk of fire on their land whether it is a land clearing burn, using chainsaws or other machinery. Including fire protection in your business plans can help you identify and manage the risks.

Farm and Land Operations

Fires can start from the smallest spark. So you need to be very careful when using machinery during extreme fire danger periods.

Fires can start easily from, for example, slashers or mowers hitting stones, or exhausts when driving through or parking in stubble or long, dry grass. In extreme fire danger days, it is important to:

  • stop using welders, chainsaws, slashers and reducing some tractor operations
  • ensure diesel trucks with exhausts higher than the cab have spark-arrester shields fixed to the exhaust when carting hay
  • harvester operators are aware of the conditions outside their air-conditioned cabs
  • pay special attention to checking your machinery's bearings and moving parts
  • carry appropriate fire extinguishers, shovels, or knapsack sprayers during high-fire danger periods
  • to help you keep track of the fire danger and weather conditions within your area, use the fire weather website.

Farm Business Planning

An up-to-date business plan documents the big picture of where you want your business and your family to be in the future. It also identifies short and long-term goals to achieving your plan.

How you manage risk is also an important part of a business plan and adds value and reliability to your business. When developing or updating your farm business plan, make sure you include a plan to protect your home, property, and assets from the risk of fire.

For more information read our Farm Fire Safe document, to help put fire safety into your farm business plan.

Assess the Risk of Fire to your Farm

Do you know the risk from fire to your farm? The Farm Fire Safe questionnaire will help you assess your risk and identify the priorities for your business plan.

When assessing the risk of fire to your farm, you will need to consider the risks:

  • Inside your home
  • From vegetation fire
  • To your farm buildings and machinery
  • During farm operations
  • During controlled burn offs.

Make an Action Plan

Use the results of the Farm Fire Safe to check what you need to action in the future. Include in your business plan the actions you already have in place and the ones you will put in place.

Remember to schedule a timeframe for achieving your actions, whether they are in the short or long term.

Also, include the financial cost into your plan.