Summer Farm Fires
The garnered crops of grain and hay represent the year’s toil of the farmer, his family and help. Let no careless act jeopardize these food and feed products. The fanners worst enemy is lightning, and the barn is a favorite mark. Occasionally a building, poorly rodded, is struck. This is no argument against the efficacy of lightning rod protection when proper materials are used, installed according to the best modern practice, well grounded to permanent moisture and kept in good repair. When so installed the lightning rod is an almost certain protection, and the cheapest protection a
Few fires are due to spontaneous ignition of improperly cured hay. The only remedy we can suggest is proper curing and good ventilation of the hay loft. Guard against threshing time fires. In 1920 threshing engines destroyed over ninety thousand dollars worth of grain in stacks and caused considerable damage to buildings. Clean up all weeds, dry grass leaves and other combustible materials before placing the stacks. Do not have all stacks in one setting and so subject to one hre. The stacks should be good distance from the buildings, so that the latter will not be endangered. Give thought also to the prevailing winds in placing the stacks and engine, to reduce the liability of fire from flying sparks. Placing stacks near a railway track is courting a fire. A plowed fire guard, not less than six furrows, around each set of stacks will protect them from running fires. Smoking on or around grain and straw stacks invites fire.
The engine smoke stack must be equipped with a good spark arrester, and the engine with a practical device to prevent dropping of fire from the fire box or ash pan. Every threshing crew should carry at least two approved fire extinguishers of the soda-acid, tip-over type, two and one-half gallon capacity. The farmer should keep a few barrels of water and pails near the stacks for fire protection.
The engineer should keep all oily waste and rags in a covered metal receptacle. Foreign materials getting into the machine sometimes cause a spark and fire. A few fires are caused by static electricity. Protect your year’s earnings and sustenance.—Industrial Commission of Wisconsin.