Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray has given her backing to a rural risk survey being piloted by NFU Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Dumfries & Galloway, which encourages farmers to take precautions to protect their farms.
The initiative aims to help protect farms if a fire was to ever happen and assist in restricting any damage. Farmers are encouraged to fill out a ‘rural risk form’ with basic details, and are then contacted by SFRS who will arrange a visit and map out a plan of the farm. Not only does this help fire fighters to assess any risks, but also to know where livestock are likely to be kept as well as dangerous substances such as slurry.
SFRS has seen an increase in farm fires in Scotland, with 635 primary fires of farm buildings and nearly 2,800 secondary fires, in 2013 to 2015. In many primary fires whole buildings have been destroyed.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“The devastation that farm fires can cause on people’s lives can often be severely underestimated. Of course you have the impact on the farming business itself, but more often than not a family’s home is also left devastated. We need to see more action being taken to restrict the impact of farm fires, and that’s why I’m happy to throw my weight behind this scheme. This initiative will not only be beneficial to NFUS members, but will also be of immense help to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service here in Dumfries & Galloway in the unfortunate incidence of a farm fire taking place.”