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Every year in the UK some 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 areas of grassland are destroyed by fire. Half of these fires are started deliberately, either as an act of mindless vandalism or as a fraudulent insurance claim.

Serious farm fires can affect the financial stability of even the most well run business, and 40 percent of businesses that suffer arson attacks never trade successfully again.

Farms are particularly vulnerable to arson. Their isolated location, open boundaries, readily ignitable hay and straw make them an easy target.

Whilst arson attacks on farms and small holdings may be difficult to eliminate, a number of simple precautions can substantially reduce the risk of attack.

Please take the time to have a read through these tips when dealing with heathland, grass, crop, hay and straw fires.

  • Store hay and straw in separate buildings and at least 10 metres apart;
  • Store petrol, diesel and other fuels in a secure area;
  • Make sure that refuse is disposed of safely and on a regular basis;
  • In an emergency evacuate the area, give a landmark to help locate the fire and describe the type of fire;
  • Do not leave fertilisers, pesticides or storage tank outlets unlocked;
  • Do not attempt to tackle fires.

Determining your risk

A quick survey around the outdoors area will identify areas where an arsonist could strike.

Ask the local crime prevention officer or your insurance advisor for their assistance and guidance.