Farm related fires cause millions in damage each year in property damage across the United States. In addition to financial damages, personal injury, or loss of life may occur. It is estimated that combine fires alone account for 10.5 million in property damage each year. The harvest season of 2007 brought extremely dry conditions to the Mid-Atlantic states with a not surprising corresponding increase in farm related fires. In response, Extension Agents from the University of Maryland in cooperation with the local fire marshal’s office began the development of a series of fact sheets designed to educate farmers on the factors that lead to the increased risk of fire. By eliminating or reducing risks factors that lead to farm fires, it is hoped that fire risk will decrease. Currently, two fact sheets have been developed for dealing with specific fire threats: Preventing Combine Fires, and Preventing Fires in Manure Storage Structures. The resources developed have been distributed throughout Maryland to each County Extension Office and Research Center and to many adjoining states, and have been adapted into training classes and farmer meetings where appropriate, targeting specific groups at high risk for fire. For example, Preventing Fires in Manure Storage Structures will be presented in 2008 at a series of Poultry Informational Meetings on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Additional fact sheets are under development to be added to the list of resources available to reduce the risk of farm related fires.
|Conference||2009 National Extension Risk Management Education Conference|