Domestic Fowls (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB0076)

5. Housing

Fire and other emergency precautions

  1. Farmers should make advance plans for dealing with emergencies such as fire, flood or disruption to supplies and should ensure that all staff are familiar with the appropriate emergency action. At least one responsible member of staff should always be available to take the necessary steps.
  2. Fire precautions should be a major priority for the good stockman. The relevant provisions of Section 1.3 of British Standard BS5502 relating to fire precautions should therefore be followed. Expert advice on all fire precautions is obtainable from fire prevention officers of local fire brigades and from the Fire Prevention Association.
  3. In the design of new buildings, or the alteration of existing buildings, there should be provision for livestock to be released and evacuated quickly in the case of an emergency. Materials used in construction should have sufficient fire resistance and adequate doors and other escape routes should be provided to enable an emergency procedure to be followed in the event of a fire. Where possible straw storage should be separated from livestock accommodation to reduce the risk to stock from fire and smoke.
  4. All electrical, gas and oil services should be planned and fitted so that if there is overheating, or flame is generated, the risk of flame spreading to equipment, bedding or the fabric of the building is minimal. It is advisable to site power on/off controls outside buildings. Consideration should be given to installing fire alarm systems which can be heard and acted upon at any time of the day or night.
  5. In case a 999 call has to made notices should be prominently displayed in all livestock buildings stating where the nearest telephone is located. Each telephone should have fixed by it a notice giving instructions on the best route to the farm and the location of the poultry houses.
  6. There is usually some warning of interruptions in the supply of feeding stuffs and, so far as possible, arrangements should be made to lay adequate stocks of food or water to offset the worst effects of such a contingency.
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