Thursday, 14 November 2013

Three fires at buildings in farms this week.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are calling on farmers to check their fire safety measures after three fires at buildings in farms this week.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has spent the night at the scene of a barn fire in Alfriston.
We were called out at 6.32pm on 13th November 2013 to a farm in Whiteway. There were reports a barn had caught alight and there was livestock inside.

On arrival the crew found that twenty tonnes of hay was being stored in the building. The cattle had been led to safety by the owner.

Crews worked through the night to bring the fire under control. 20 tons of smouldering hay was removed by digger into the open air and the stop message was received at 9.47am on 14th November. The fire is now under investigation.

On 12th November, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service also attended a fire in an industrial unit, which manufactured apple juice, at a farm in Brambletye Lane in Forest Row. Crews used ground monitors and main jets to pump water and foam at the building. The cause of the fire was accidental.

On the same day (12th November) crews attended a barn fire in Dallington. At its height four crews from Heathfield, Burwash and two crews from Battle, along with the control unit from Bexhill, were sent to tackle the barn blaze, measuring 50m by 15m and containing hay and farm machinery. The cause was accidental.

Safety advice

Farmers are again being urged to check their fire safety measures, as this is the third barn fire in two days in East Sussex.

Farmers are required by law, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, to carry out a fire risk assessment of their farm buildings. Find out more at

If you are a farmer you may also want to consider the following:
  • Hay and straw should be removed from the field as soon as possible after harvesting.
  • Are you storing it separately from other buildings, particularly those housing fuels, agrochemicals and machinery? Is in stacks of reasonable size, spaced at least ten metres apart? It is stored separately from livestock housing?
  • Have you ensured that petrol, diesel and other fuels are stored in secure areas and storage tank outlets are padlocked?
  • Are you keeping your fertilisers and pesticides under lock and key?
  • Have you recently checked that open water supplies are being properly maintained for firefighting?
  • Are you disposing of refuse safely and on a regular basis?
  • When did you last check unoccupied areas on your farm? Are they safe and secure? Have you made sure there is no unnecessary accumulation of combustible materials?
  • If you allow visitors or camping on your farm, ensure all barbecues are properly supervised and do not allow the lighting of open fires on the property. Make sure you only allow camping and picnicking in selected areas.
  • Have you checked that Fire Danger warning signs are in place?

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