Yearly farmers in Ohio and different states throughout America’s ag belt dread the considered gear fires, particularly in combines and different harvesting gear.
This 12 months’s autumn climate situations have led to a rise in mix fires. Two suggestions to forestall accidents and property harm embody: preventative upkeep and pre-planning for hearth emergencies.
Ohio ranks fourth within the nation for mix fires. Different states main the listing embody Minnesota (1st), Iowa (2nd), Illinois (third), Kansas (fifth), Nebraska (sixth) and South Dakota (seventh).
The vast majority of harvester fires begin within the engine compartment. Contributing components for warmth sources embody defective wiring, overheated bearings, leaking gasoline or hydraulic oil. The dry crop residue makes a prepared supply for fast combustion to happen when the machine is operated in the sector. Birds and wildlife are recognized to make nests within the engine compartment or exhaust manifolds – which might add gasoline sources for unsuspecting mix operators.
Tricks to stop mix fires embody:
● Have a each day upkeep plan in the course of the harvest interval. Holding equipment effectively maintained performs a big position in stopping fires from these sources. Cleansing up spills, blowing off chaff, leaves, and different plant supplies regularly, correct lubrication of bearings/chains, and checking electrical connections must be a part of the each day routine. Farmers could select to do their each day upkeep within the morning whereas ready for the dew to burn off the crops. Nevertheless, performing upkeep at evening will spotlight any hot-spots or smoldering areas because the machine is cooling down. Eradicating chaff at
the tip of the day will scale back the quantity of particles out there to spark a hearth.
● Remove static electrical energy. A series can also be mounted on the underside of the machine to drag on the bottom whereas within the subject. This decreases the buildup of static electrical energy.
If a hearth does escape, it’s vital to have an emergency plan already in place:
● Name 911 or your native first responders on the first signal of a hearth. Don’t wait to know should you can include a hearth your self, fast response is vital to saving beneficial gear. Mix fires are sometimes in distant places the place a selected tackle is probably not out there and entry is restricted. Emergency response occasions can be longer in these conditions.
● Have (2) ABC hearth extinguishers mounted on the mix. A ten-pound ABC dry chemical hearth extinguisher within the cab or close to the ladder of the cab is fast entry to guard the operator. A second extinguisher (20-pound ABC) is really helpful to be mounted on the exterior of combines the place it’s accessible from the bottom. It’s doable that one unit will extinguish a small hearth; having the second unit will assist with any extra flare-ups. Don’t overlook to verify that the extinguishers are absolutely charged at the start of the season. Not having extinguishers prepared when wanted results in a helpless feeling of watching certainly one of your most costly items of kit go up in flames.
● Have a water truck positioned by the sector. Scorching mufflers and catalytic converters from different automobiles driving within the subject can pose a threat to the dry subject fodder. Smoldering supplies could go by 15 to half-hour earlier than being seen. A small gust of wind might quickly flip that smoldering into a hearth. In excessive dry situations, a water truck could assist defend towards subject fires. By no means use water on fires which can be electrical or fuel-sourced.
● Have an emergency plan in place and talk about it with the opposite employees or household members. Realizing what to do within the occasion of a hearth emergency is vital. Realizing the tackle to the sector and easy methods to contact hearth departments instantly as an alternative of by the 911 system are vital security conversations for your entire harvest crew.
Maybe crucial factor to recollect is that complacency kills. Don’t get caught considering it could actually by no means occur in your farm. Take preventative actions, be certain each the mix operator and grain cart/truck drivers are additionally watching the machine for smoke, and be ready to behave if hearth is seen or smelled.