Protecting your Farm From Fire in Australia

Let’s face it, farm life in Australia can be less than tranquil with the country being prone to bushfires. Some of these are ferocious and devastating like the 2020 bushfires and the Black Saturday bushfires of 2008. So, as a farm owner in Australia it's imperative that you do all you can to protect your farm from fire damage. It all comes down to proper farming fire management planning. A little bit of planning goes a long way!

Fire Safety on the Farm

Keep in mind that fire safety on the farm is an all year round issue to keep at the top of mind. However certain times of the year like summer naturally pose a bigger risk. As a farmer keep these points in mind: 

  • You have the responsibility to practice fire risk management activity all year round 365 days of the year.

  • You should have a routine in place for ‘fire risk days’ (moving stock and limiting or postponing machinery use, switching off electric fences etc). Ensure everyone on the farm knows about it.

  • You can now have a state of the art fire sprinkler system installed that is compliant with today’s standards. 

  • You should have the contact details of your local council & insurance ready for recovery assistance after a fire.

  • You must limit or cease farm machinery activity on Severe, Extreme or Code Red days.

  • You have a responsibility to consider the needs of family, staff and contractors on your farm. Ensure all are fully aware of good fire safety practices on your farm.

Essential Steps Before Fire Season on the Farm

Preparation is essential on the farm and when it comes to fire prevention it is even more essential. We’ve compiled a list here of some essential steps you should take as a farmer before fire season comes around.

Vehicles, Equipment and Hay

  • Have fire extinguishers or knapsack spray pumps (minimum 9 litres) available that can be carried by anyone using farm equipment or machinery.

  • Ensure you have a new fire sprinkler system in place compliant with latest regulations and practice good maintenance. 

  • Ensure that all family and employees are able to use all firefighting equipment you have. Get them together and have a refresher every 6 months. 

  • Ensure there are no gaps between the cladding and the ground or slab of your sheds to stop embers getting inside.

  • Protect hay from rain, leaking roofs and spouts and cover stacks with hay caps or tarps.

  • Have a safety strategy in place for storing and monitoring hay - purchase a moisture metre if needed.

  • Ensure hay is fully cured before baling.

Fuel Loads and Stock

  • Decrease fuel loads around assets (house blocks, sheds and fences) and create strategic fuel breaks.

  • If you need to remove native vegetation or manage fuel on roadsides contact your local authority.

  • Create a heavily grazed area where stock can be moved in the event of a bushfire emergency.

  • Conduct a stocktake of feed, animals and fencing before fire season and keep a copy of records off the farm.

Extras

  • If you plan to stay and defend your farm during a bushfire, take steps to establish a water supply of at least 10,000 litres (independent of the mains supply). 

  • Hire a Fire Attack Trailer to help protect your property against a bushfire.

  • Keep an eye on the fire ratings throughout the day. As they increase so does the risk of an unpredictable and ferocious fire. 

  • Have a bushfire action plan in place well before bushfire season

Sinclair Fire is dedicated to helping protect your farm and assets from fire damage. Contact Trevor and his team today who can best guide you on the latest fire sprinkler systems for your farm and fire safety practices for your farm.