A few recent tractor fires in Canterbury have caused Fire and Emergency New Zealand to issue a warning to farm owners to stay vigilant. Investing time in farm fire safety will potentially save lives as well as tens of thousands of dollars in machinery. 

The fires were most likely to be caused by birds nesting in the engine. Aside from checking machinery before use, keeping fire extinguishers in farm vehicles was highly recommended. 

“A fire extinguisher right there could make the difference between a small fire and totally losing a vehicle, especially as most rural properties are further from our fire stations, so it takes us longer to get there. Fires can grow very quickly.’’ – Bevan Findlay (FENZ) 

In order to limit any risk, Mr Findlay said having firefighting equipment on tractors and other machinery was a good start. 

At Jim’s Test & Tag, we provide fire extinguisher installation and maintenance for businesses across New Zealand. If you operate a farm or use heavy machinery, call us now and ask about fire extinguisher servicing. We also test appliances and a variety of other fire protection devices. Take a look at the rest of our farm fire safety tips and let us know if you have any questions. 

Fire Safety Plan

Do you have an plan in place if a fire does occur on your property? Do you and your workers know the location of your fire protection equipment? Do they know how to use it correctly? 

To make a great fire safety plan, you need to be thorough. Make a list of all the risks and hazards that are involved with your work. What do you need to do to manage these risks? If you’re having trouble developing a plan, talk to your local fire protection authority and get some advice. This way, you will have a professional and reliable farm fire plan. 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand have a fantastic rural farm & business fire safety checklist that can help you manage your risks. 

Farm Fire Safety Tips 

Even if you own your own business, you have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment (for you and anyone that works with you). You can manage the fire risks on your farm by following these tips. 

  • Get rid of starlings’ nests from around motors and other high-risk areas. 
  • Make sure your property is accessible to emergency services 
  • Store flammable liquids away from machinery in correctly labeled containers 
  • Regularly maintain machinery 
  • Regularly maintain fire protection equipment 
  • Remove flammable material near buildings 
  • Trim branches near power lines 
  • Review burning off process 
  • Regularly maintain electrical appliances and equipment 
  • Prepare for bush fire season with local fire authority 
  • Subscribe to bush fire alerts and be aware of changes of weather/conditions 
  • Regularly clean machinery 
  • Clear flammable material when welding 

Preparing your home: 

  • Install fire alarms and perform evacuation drills 
  • Install fire extinguishers/blankets/hoses 
  • Don’t overload extension cords/power boards 
  • Clear flammable material from around your home 
  • Clean the chimney at least once a year 

Making the time and effort to ensure you have your fire safety plan taken care of will pay dividends today and into the future.

With help from the professionals at Jim’s Test & Tag, you can be confident your farm is safe for all who work on or visit your property.

Contact Jim’s Test & Tag Today

Make sure your fire protection equipment works when you need it. Contact us now and ask us to service your fire extinguishers, hose reels, and fire blankets. A commitment to fire safety on your farm will help you save lives (and money). Peace of mind is just a call away.