Emergencies on Livestock Farms (PB1147)

Fire Emergencies


Defra have released a video called 'Farm Fires' for which there is an accompanying booklet. The video examines fire risks that are commonly found on farms and points out simple ways in which those risks can be reduced by taking sensible precautions. The 'Farm Fires' video is obtainable from the Defra Publications. There is also a Booklet entitled 'Farm Fires' available.

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25 All different categories of stock and different designs of housing possess definable risks. A wooden animal house is cheaper than a brick or metal construction but during a fire its risk of total destruction is obviously higher. Guidance on the fire protection of buildings is available in British Standard 5502 (Code of Practice for Design of Buildings and Structures for Agriculture, Part 23) and should be followed. Expert advice on fire precautions should be sought for your farm from fire prevention officers of your local fire service.

If an emergency you must contact the fire service on 999, and on farms it is good advice to:

  • have notices prominently displayed in all livestock houses stating where the nearest telephone is located;
  • for each telephone to have a notice fixed by it with instructions to be given to the fire brigade on how to reach the farm and that building;
  • ensure that the farm name is prominently displayed at the entrance to the farm.

Ensure that an adequate supply of water is available. If a fire hydrant or a natural supply of water is not available, or is inadequate, then:

  • a static tank should be located in a convenient position between a minimum of 6 metres and a maximum of 100 metres (but preferably closer) from the stock housing;
  • it should hold a minimum of 20,000 litres of water and be clear of debris;
  • it should be covered for safety, and kept full of water;
  • a hard access will be necessary to enable the fire appliance to get close to the water supply and the stock houses.
28 All electrical, gas and oil services should be planned and fitted so that if there is over-heating, or a flame is generated, the risk of the flame spreading to equipment, litter or straw or the fabric of the livestock house is minimal.
29 Flammable and combustible materials must be stored in a safe place and as far away from livestock as is practicable.
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