Farmers asked to be ‘vigilant’ after barn fires in Somerset

WHILE investigations into the recent barn fires across Somerset, the fire service are asking farmers to be ‘vigilant’.

However, at the moment they do not believe these fires are linked.

There have also been two more barn fires – one at Stretcholt in Bridgwater, and one on Brendon Hill in Watchet – but these are not thought to be suspicious.

Somerset County Gazette: BLAZE: Creech St Michael barn fire. Pic: Taunton Fire Station

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is asking farmers to be “vigilant” as these fires can spread quickly.

Group Commander Chris Pratt said: “This recent spate of fires in agricultural buildings around Somerset is concerning.

“Barn fires can quickly escalate and spread to other nearby buildings, increasing the risk to life for not only animals, but people too.

“We are calling on farmers and farm managers to act with vigilance at the moment to try to reduce these fires happening.

“We want to prevent any further fires before someone is seriously hurt.

“Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are working alongside our colleagues at Avon and Somerset Police and investigations into these incidents are ongoing.”

Somerset County Gazette: The fire underway at Creech St Michael, Taunton. Picture: Taunton Fire Station

Anyone with information that could assist police with their investigations should call 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s tips on reducing the risk of arson on farms:

  • Check fencing security, and repair or replace damaged fencing or gates.
  • Install intruder sensors and security lighting.
  • Maintain security of outbuildings.
  • Keep firefighting equipment in good order.
  • Keep escape routes clear at all times and keep all areas free from rubbish, oily cloths and other combustible materials.
  • Ensure that your family and employees know what to do in the event of a fire.
  • Make sure everyone knows where the nearest phone is. Carry a mobile phone at all times, especially if working alone.
  • Keep firefighting equipment in good working order and ensure it is serviced regularly. Ensure it can be accessed easily at all times and that everyone is aware where it is located.
  • Make sure that the entrance to your farm is clearly signposted and keep all access routes clear for emergency vehicles.
  • We also recommend that you have an animal evacuation plan for your livestock in the event of a fire.

Somerset County Gazette | News