Believe it or not, but winter is a very common season for fires due to the use of additional heat sources. Fire can be particularly destructive on the farm. From property to lives, take a few steps to prevent it from happening to you.
Children, especially age 5 and under, are at the greatest risk of home fire-related death and injury. Young children don’t know what to do and are likely to panic in a fire. They may hide in a closet or behind a bed instead of escaping. Practice fire drills at home once a year. Show your children all of the safe ways to escape a fire from every room of the house and every building on the farm. Designate a meeting place outside and make it part of the drill. One way to prevent fires in the house is to install smoke detectors. There should be a smoke detector on every level and outside bedrooms.
Fire extinguishers are essential items on the farm in case a fire breaks out. Besides the house, keep fire extinguishers in barns, other farm buildings, and machinery including tractors and combines. The local fire department is a terrific resource as well. Ask them to help you start the process of protecting your farm from fire. Both you and the fire department will be better prepared if a fire should occur.
And follow these fire safety precautions on the farm:
- Test smoke detectors once a month and replace the batteries twice a year (when you change your clocks for daylight savings).
- Replace smoke detectors that are ten years of age or older.
- Place proper fire extinguishers in strategic locations, making sure they are accessible.
- Get training on how to use fire extinguishers.
- Plan your escape routes.
- Designate one place outside where family members should meet in case of fire.
- Keep matches away from children.
- Don’t enter a confined livestock area or housing structure if it catches on fire.
- Install lightning rods.
- Store gasoline and other flammable fuels in proper containers in a cool place.
- Turn off engines when refueling machines.
National Farm Safety and Health Week is the week of September 16th. What a great time to talk about safety on your farm.
Have you ever had a close call on your farm? Something that could have ended very differently. How many of you know a family member, friend, or neighbor who got hurt working on a farm? Do any of you have the heavy heart that comes from knowing someone who died on the farm? Most farmers will point out their scars and tell the story of their close call(s) amongst each other. Usually in context, they’re no more than stories with a plot line, a climax, and hopefully – a happy ending. Very real people become characters in a tale. This week, tell your story. The whole story. How much worse could it have been? How much was the hospital bill? How much time did you miss working? How much money did you lose as a result of the lost production? How did getting hurt impact your family, your kids? And most importantly Did you change anything because of it? Make it personal, because the person listening needs to know it’s more than just a story. You’re real. Accidents… are real. And sometimes, they’re preventable. September 16-22 is National Farm Safety and Health Week. Use your story to tell at least two others about farm safety this week and share them on Twitter using #FSHW12 and Facebook.
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater, Marketing Director from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids
For several years now, Paul Taylor has been collecting money for a children’s hospice through unusual fundraising campaigns. He has raised more than 5,000 pounds (approx. 6,000 euros). Originally the plan for this year was to traverse England with a tractor, but Paul ended up driving a tractor from Marktoberdorf, Germany to England.
Paul Taylor has been raising money for three years for the children’s hospice in memory of Alice Hannah Foster, a daughter of friends, who died in the “Derian House Children’s Hospice” in 2007. In his search for sponsors and a tractor for this year’s fundraising campaign, he found support from the local AGCO dealers, Clarke & Pullman Ltd. Together with the Fendt UK Sales Headquarters and Richard Shelton, Fendt Brand Manager for the UK and Ireland, the idea finally took shape: Fendt UK provided Paul Taylor with its newest demonstration tractor, a 724 Vario, for the journey from Marktoberdorf to the hospice in England. The trip was planned together with the Fendt colleagues from Marktoberdorf. On 13 April, Paul started out on his journey, directly from the works in Marktoberdorf to Chorley near Manchester. Almost 1,500 kilometres lay ahead of him, leading him through Germany, France and finally via ferry over the English Channel to the UK. With the Fendt 724 Vario, Paul had all the technology required for a comfortable ride. A three-person team accompanied him and provided assistance, for example, in matters regarding country-specific traffic regulations.
Derian House (www.derianhouse.co.uk) is a children’s hospice that provides support for terminally ill children and their families. The hospice is open 365 days a year and the benefits are free for families. The hospice requires more than 2.85 million pounds (approx. 3.4 million euros) each year and is almost entirely supported by donations.
If you would like to support Paul’s Fendt fundraising effort for the hospice, you can make a donation at the following link: www.justgiving.com/Paul-Taylor32
Children are naturally curious, especially younger children. And there are a lot of things to be curious about on the farm! But that curiosity can unknowingly lead them into dangerous places. A safe play area is a great way to ensure the safety of kids on the farm. Here are a few tips to help you establish a safe play area.
• Separated from traffic and work areas.
• Easily identifiable boundaries. Fences are ideal.
• An area easily supervised, such as looking out a back window.
• Free from dangerous debris.
• Plenty of room to run and explore.
• Safe and age-appropriate play equipment.
If you can’t fence the play area, use landmarks: a tree, a bush, a pole, a driveway. Walk the boundary with your children. Explain the boundary is important because it keeps them safe, and go over any consequences of breaking the boundary rule. Keep in mind the boundary is only the first line of defense. Supervision is critical, and not just for play areas without a fence.
Give children reasons to stay in the identified play area. Provide appropriate play items, such as swings, a sand box, or playhouse, which make the play area appealing to children. If the farmstead is more enticing than the designated play area, your efforts may not be effective.
A safe outdoor play area away from livestock, traffic and machinery is essential for children to grow up safe and healthy on a farm or ranch. Let’s keep our next generation of rural children safe!
For more information on farm safety, or to learn how to start a chapter, visitwww.fs4jk.org.
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids
2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK). The organization has promoted farm safety to more than 6 million people through local programs and education since 1987.
Over the past 25 years, FS4JK has established a network of more than 120 chapters across the United States and Canada that offer farm safety presentations on a local level. In that time, 35,600 volunteers donated 280,000 hours of their time to help promote safety on the farm.
Marilyn Adams founded the non-profit organization in 1987 after the death of her 11-year-old son in a gravity flow grain wagon accident. Its mission is to promote a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries and fatalities to children and youth. What started as a tribute to her son has touched nearly 6 million people so far.
“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started FS4JK,” said Adams, FS4JK founder. “The organization has grown and evolved so much in the past 25 years. It’s exciting to think about what lies ahead for the farm safety movement.”
FS4JK focuses on prevention through education. The organization has created a spectrum of nearly 100 educational resources on a variety of farm safety related topics. All resources are available to the public via an online catalog.
“Our goal is to teach the next generation of farmers to be safe,” said Shari Burgus, education director. “The entire industry depends on it.”
Education is paying off. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, from 1998 to 2009 the rate of all farm youth injuries has decreased by 59 percent. FS4JK was specifically mentioned as a contributing factor to the decline. Additional influences included other organizations, governmental agencies, educational institutions and private corporations.
FS4JK utilizes a system of local outreach chapters to spread farm safety education throughout the country. Amy Rademaker, an outreach coordinator in Illinois, expressed how being a part of FS4JK has impacted her life.
“I grew up in a farm family. Being a part of this organization has changed the way I look at what we did growing up on the farm,” said Rademaker. “I think FS4JK has made me think of how things will be different for my son in a farm environment. It’s about finding a balance while still honoring family and tradition.”
Corporate sponsors and individual donors fund FS4JK. Current projects include overhauling the current ATV safety packet, plus working with the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health to research how safety needs are impacted in the changing demographics of agriculture as small, part-time farms are on the rise.
“We’re excited to step back and recognize our past success and the tremendous support we’ve seen from sponsors over the past 25 years that has helped us with our mission,” said Dave Schweitz, FS4JK executive director. “It’s a true testament to the importance of the farm safety movement and their dedication to their customers and agriculture. We look forward to building on those partnerships as we continue to build the organization.”
For more information on farm safety, or to learn how to start a chapter, visit www.fs4jk.org.
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids