Here are some steps to take when making sure your farm shed is safe and secure and safeguarded from fire, theft and pests.
Fireproof your shed
Small tasks like removing twigs and leaves from gutters and removing flammable materials, chemicals, and fuels from around the can help protect your assets from fires.
Keeping the maintenance up to date on your machinery and equipment is also important.
More than 60 farmers from across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia contributed tips and valuable insights to our farm fire safety guide.
Among some of these tips were:
- Conduct pre-use checks of implements even if there are no repairs to be made.
- Review and update your insurance to ensure assets and contents are adequately covered.
- Install fire extinguishers in high fire risk areas – especially in hay sheds, machinery sheds and on machinery.
- Keep shed site clear of fuel and debris.
If you are storing valuable items in your sheds such as farm machinery or hay, make sure that only authorised people have access to the shed.
For a fully enclosed machinery shed, plan the access during the design stage. Pay special attention to the access points, including positions, door types, locks and security systems.
For open-front sheds, like hay sheds, motion detector lights or similar security systems are important and can also be a deterrent for intruders.
While these security measures are an added cost to your shed project, keep in mind the value of your produce and machinery and the importance of storing it properly and securely.
While steel hay and grain sheds are not as susceptible to pest or rodent information in the way that older wooden framed sheds were, rats or mice can still be a problem especially after a good season.
Some effective ways of keeping pests out of your sheds include:
- Sealing the bottom of the cladding profile
- Install bait stations. “If there is a source of food other than bait stations, regardless of the quality or quantity of the food source, the mouse may not eat your bait stations if they are too few or too far apart.”
- Roll bales prior to using
- Natural control measures