Be fire safe this harvest season

As harvest is in full force for most, it’s always good practise to be up to snuff when it comes to fire safety on the farm.

Depending on where you live, conditions could be favourable for the smallest spark to light a grass fire. That being said, regular harvest conditions can lead to the potential for a machinery fire.

Jody Wacowich, executive director with Ag safe Alberta joined RealAgriculture’s Jessika Guse for a quick refresher course on the topic.

“Things that you want to keep in mind is that your equipment is clean and there’s no dust or crop residue or those sorts of things left on your combines … you want to make sure that’s clean so that we don’t have nay combustibles there, you also want to make sure that your fire extinguishers and equipment are current,” Wacowich explains.

She added all extinguishers need a yearly inspection which to make sure it’s up to date. Every six years they need to be fully taken apart and inspected to make sure all the pieces inside still function which can for the most part be done by your local fire hall.

According to Wacowich, it’s also good practise to take a water truck, if you own one or have access to one, with you or at least have it parked in the vicinity in case of an emergency.

When it comes to using the fire extinguisher, a good acronym to remember is PASS:

  • P – Pull the pin
  • – Aim the nozzle at base of fire
  • S – Squeeze the handle
  • S – Sweep the nozzle side to side

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Even though technology can be great, it also can fail us. As Wacowich points out, it’s another best practise to have a physical map or sheet of laminated paper with land coordinates on it to know where you are if a fire were to occur as not everyone, being the fire fighters, know which fence post to turn left at or which “red barn” you need to pass in order to get to your location.

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