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Farm fire claims total staggering £47.9 million in 2015

Statistics from NFU mutual have revealed the monetary cost of farm fires came to a total of £47.9 million in 2015.



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The cost of farm fires rose by 14 per cent in 2015
The cost of farm fires rose by 14 per cent in 2015

Farm fire claims in 2015 came to an alarming total of £47.9 million, according to NFU Mutual, a rise of 14 per cent.

 

The rural insurer has called a timely reminder to farmers to check their fire prevention and evacuation procedures in order to curb statistics going forward.

 

According to the new statistics, the most common cause of farm fires was electrical faults, which were responsible for about half of the 2015 fire claims.

 

Arson and mechanical faults were the next most common causes.

 

Hazard

 

"Fire remains one of the greatest hazards to the lives of farmers and with claims peaking in August and September, it’s important to be alert to the risks and have plans prepared and shared with family members and staff,” said Tim Price, NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist.

 

“The scale of these claims shows how important it is to take all possible steps to prevent fires breaking out, and to have clear plans to evacuate people and livestock safely in the event of a fire.

 

"Also, it’s vital to make sure you have the right sort of fire extinguishers maintained in good order so you can fight small fires safely.”

 

Statistics

 

This comes as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service revealed agricultural fires in Scotland are at a five year high, with 343 fires reported in 2015/16.

 

The statistics reveal that South of England and East Anglia were the worst affected regions in 2015 followed by North East England with North West England in third place.


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Farm fire claims cost by region in 2015

  • South/East - £10.6m
  • North East - £13.1m
  • North West - £5.9m
  • Midlands - £4.9m
  • Scotland - £6.3m
  • Wales - £3.7m
  • Northern Ireland - £3.4m

Fire prevention checklist

  • Ensure there are sufficient fire extinguishers for the size of buildings and that materials stored are inspected and regularly maintained
  • Ensure staff and adult family members know the location of fire extinguishers and how to use them
  • Reduce the risk of arson by fencing-off straw stacks and farm buildings
  • Store hay and straw at least 10m from other buildings
  • Put in place an evacuation plan for staff and livestock
  • Store petrol, diesel and other fuels in secure areas
  • Schedule regular electrical safety checks
  • Invite your local fire and rescue service to visit to check water supplies and access routes
  • Check nfumutual.co.uk for advice on preventing farm fires
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