Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding the operators of both industrial and agricultural buildings to manage any gas cylinders on site properly and safely.

The Service has dealt with a number of fires so far this year involving barns and storage sheds containing gas cylinders.

Station Manager Graham Kewley, from the Fire Safety Team, said: “Cylinders are a common risk at agricultural incidents, and can cause significant issues to firefighters. There have been cases where firefighters have been killed by exploding cylinders, so crews have to maintain a safety cordon to protect life – and this can be up to 200m, potentially affecting other businesses, roads or even railway lines.”

He added: “Cylinders should be kept securely and located away from buildings and combustible materials wherever possible. Ideally, unwanted cylinders should be disposed of in a safe manner and businesses should have good housekeeping arrangements so everyone knows what cylinders are on site and where they are located.”

Other top tips include:

  • Install signage to identify where cylinders are stored.
  • If you do have a fire, make sure that firefighters are informed of cylinder types and locations as early as possible so that they can protect them or move them to a safe location.
  • Limit the numbers of cylinders you keep – dispose of any that are not used or required.

Farmers are also reminded of the requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment for their buildings. Part of this process should identify access and water supplies to assist firefighters, and the location of hazards such as cylinders, fertilisers and flammable liquids.

For further information, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/fire-risks-on-farms

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