Hot, Dry, Summer harvesting can increase Fire Risk
Any time you expose dry, flammable material to hot mufflers, worn-out bearings and electrical wiring, there’s a risk of starting a fire where there shouldn’t be one.
Unfortunately, a combination of these elements results in combines and balers going up in smoke in late summer and autumn.
With the busy harvest season getting underway or around the corner, now is the time to take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of human injury and costly equipment losses from fire.
Here’s a quick checklist for preventing unplanned field fires:
1. Have fire extinguishers mounted on equipment and ensure everyone knows how to use them. Ideally you should have one in the cab and one that is accessible from the ground.
2. Ensure bearings and drives are lubricated and tension is set appropriately.
3. Check exposed wiring and fuel/hydraulic lines for damage, wear and deterioration.
4. Remove crop residue, dust, debris, dirt and excess lubricant around all heat sources regularly. Some crops are “stickier” than others.
5. Allow engine to cool before refueling.
6. Walk around machinery and watch, listen and smell to make sure things are working properly.
7. Carry a shovel along with you other equipment.
8. Be careful when using low clearance vehicles in fields, as exhaust pipes and catalytic converters can ignite dry grass. Park on field edges or in places where they won’t ignite dry crop residue.
9. Carry a cell phone or radio to report emergencies.