With harvest season underway, this poses significant risks for farmers in terms of machinery fires.

The Irish Farmers Journal spoke to Liam Carroll acting chief fire officer of Carlow County Fire and Rescue Service about his top tips for staying safe this harvest as temperatures are expected to exceed 30°C.

Always have a fire extinguisher easily accessible.

Farmers are advised to keep a fire extinguisher readily available to quickly put out any fires themselves that may occur and avoid extensive damage to their machines he said. The fire extinguisher should be in reach of the machine operator. Carroll advises farmers to keep the fire extinguisher at a height that they can reach to avoid injuring themselves when accessing it. For example, operators should not have to climb up on the combine to get access to the fire extinguisher if it is mounted externally.

Keep a compressor nearby

If possible, it is recommended to keep a compressor at hand to blow any chaff and straw out of rotating parts of a machine at regular intervals, as a build up presents a serious fire hazard.

Training day

Carlow Fire and Rescue Service service held a training day at Teagasc Oak Park last week. \ Liam Carroll

Vehicles and farm machinery are unfortunately the leading cause of farm accidents in Ireland, accounting for approximately 50% of all deaths in the last 10 years.

Ahead of the busy harvest season, Carlow County Fire and Rescue Service underwent a training day facilitated by Teagasc Oak Park on Wednesday 14 July 2021 where firefighters planned how to carry out a rescue from a range of farm machinery. Liam praised the officers involved and commented “the training was a huge success”.