Safety tip: Preventing fires in fields and on machinery

September 6, 2018 – Issue 23

The following tips to prevent field and combine fires are from this Safe Farms document.

1. Have operational fire extinguishers mounted on equipment and ensure everyone is trained to use them. Fire extinguishers need to meet the requirements of the provincial fire code. As a safe practice, ensure you have one in the cab and one that is accessible from the ground.

2. Ensure bearings and drives are lubricated and adjust tension as needed.

3. Check exposed wiring for damage, wear and deterioration.

4. Remove crop residue, dust, debris, dirt and excess lubricant around all heat sources regularly.

5. Before refueling farm equipment, allow the engine to cool.

6. During the day, walk around machinery and watch, listen and smell to check everything is in good working order.

7. Carry a shovel on harvesting equipment for potential fires. Take precautionary measures when using low clearance vehicles in fields, as exhaust pipes and catalytic converters can ignite dry grass or stubble.

*We could possibly add a tip 8, which was suggested on Twitter: Don’t park all your harvesting machinery together. In one recent incident, one combine in a fleet caught fire and the fire was about to spread to the other combines parked together when a quick-thinking neighbour jumped in (the keys were left in them) and moved them to safety.

Video on preventing combine fires

Canola Watch