The National Ag Safety Database (NASD) offers a number of excellent resources on its website, including a helpful checklist for electrical-fire prevention on farms from the University of Missouri Extension. You can check out the whole list on the NASD website, but here are some specific highlights from the guide:
- Arrange for prompt and professional repairs when risks are identified.
- Check for underlying problems as soon as you notice a pattern of fuses blowing or the breaker tripping during normal operations.
- Protect lightbulbs from accidental bumps and potentially combustible particles.
- Be aware of the dangers of vapors and flammable gases when used near electrical equipment.
- Keep wood, rags, hay, and other burnable materials away from electrical equipment and heating fixtures.
- Look for concealed wiring in walls and structures before drilling a hole or pounding a nail.
- Make sure steps have been taken to protect wiring and electrical devices so that they can’t harm the people, animals, and machinery on the property.
- If you use extension cords, make sure that they are appropriate for the job and sufficiently safe for use.
- Perform regular inspections of wiring, equipment, and electrical systems—both on your own and with a qualified electrician who can identify potential risks.
Major fires can halt agricultural businesses and destroy family farms, and too many policyholders have to fight for the coverage they deserve under the policies that protect them. For more information about farm losses and insurance claims, request your free copy of our book, Understanding Agricultural Insurance Claims.