Advocating for fire safety on Ont. farms

Advocating for fire safety on Ont. farms
Jan 03, 2019

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New video series shows how to prevent barn fires

Staff Writer
Producers can benefit from a new video series promoting on-farm fire safety, thanks to efforts from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
The videos, released by OMAFRA, aim to help farmers prevent barn fires this winter, a Wednesday Ontario government release said. The videos are “part of an ongoing effort with farmers and industry to develop different ways to reduce the potential loss of human and animal lives, injury and property damage from barn fires,” the release said.
And leaders in the ag industry support the fire safety initiatives and stress the importance of farm fire prevention.
"As a former volunteer firefighter who has witnessed the devastation caused by barn fires, I am always saddened to hear when we face these kinds of losses on our farms," said Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, in the release. “I highly encourage all farmers to learn more about (these resources) and to consult with their local fire departments or insurer on farm fire safety planning."
In addition to growers, all industry members can benefit from these resources. 
"Ontario Federation of Agriculture urges all members to read and access these new resources on barn fire prevention,” Keith Currie, OFA president, said in the release. “Assessing fire risk on our farms is critical to the well-being of our livestock and our livelihoods.”
Farmers should invest in barn fire prevention planning, the release says, including such actions as: 
having a contingency plan in place to deal with emergency situations 
developing a preventative maintenance schedule 
having buildings regularly inspected by licensed contractors 
working with local fire departments and insurance companies to address any concerns 
and training employees and family members about what to do in case of a fire 
Roughly 40 per cent of all barn fires are caused by defective electrical systems. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management monitors fire incidents in the province, and roughly 80 fires involving livestock occur every year, resulting in damages of approximately $18.5 million annually. 
For more information about barn fire prevention, click here has reached out to the City of Guelph’s Fire Services for comment. 
snapshotz/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo


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