With dry conditions and hot temperatures, farmers need to be on guard against fire hazards this summer and fall, says Jimmy Maass, safety coordinator for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
Particularly hazardous are hay bales, Maass says. If these bales have too much moisture, bacteria in them can ignite fires.
"It is imperative to bale hay at the proper moisture content," Maass says.
Other hazards include hay balers and other farm equipment that have buildups of plant dust and debris. Oil leaks and other fluids can suddenly ignite. Improperly inflated tires and bad wheel bearings can also generate heat capable of starting a fire.
Store gasoline and other flammable liquids safely and properly dispose of towels or rags soaked with flammable liquids.
Use extensions cords that are properly gauged for the work you are using them for. Keep workshops clear of clutter.
Always have a fire extinguisher close by, on each piece of equipment and by each doorway in buildings.
Read more about the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation at www.vafb.com.