Reducing the Risk of Fire on Your Farm - Introduction

The guide examines the major causes of farm building fires and what can be done to reduce the associated risks. The concepts of fire safety and how they are applied are covered. Strategies are also discussed, using best management practices, to reduce the impact on property and business in the event that a fire does occur.

Reducing the Risk of Fire on Your Farm was developed for consideration in relation to farm buildings such as livestock barns, grain and equipment storage facilities, and other similar farm buildings of low human occupancy. The recommendations pertain to both existing and new construction, supplementing the applicable requirements of the National Farm Building Code of Canada, 1995, (NFBCC) as referenced by Ontario's Building Code (the Building Code), a regulation made under the Building Code Act, 1992. The NFBCC establishes minimum requirements for fire protection of farm buildings of low human occupancy.

The Building Code Act, 1992 requires that a building permit be obtained before any construction, renovation or change of use is undertaken. Using this guide does not relieve the operator from compliance with the prescribed administrative process or the technical requirements in the NFBCC. This guide is intended to explain the principles and concepts of fire safety, and how they relate to the farm and farming practices.

There are other Codes and regulations to be respected when building, renovating or operating farm buildings. For example, the Ontario Electrical Safety Code requires that all electrical equipment used in Ontario display a Canadian electrical approval stamp – Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Underwriters Laboratory of Canada (ULC). If liquid or gaseous petroleum products are used on the farm, there are Codes specifying requirements for the safe storage and handling of these products. These Codes are enforced by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). The operator is responsible for understanding these requirements as well as other governing regulations on the farm.

The guide is intended to highlight best management practices. To further reduce risk, there are instances where requirements greater than those contained in the NFBCC are specified. Do not rely on Reducing the Risk of Fire on Your Farm as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice in connection with any particular matter. The user is solely responsible for any use or application of this guide. Although the guide has been carefully written, the authors, committee and the government of Ontario do not accept any legal responsibility for the contents of the guide or for any consequences, including direct or indirect liability, arising from its use.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 20 November 2012
Last Reviewed: 20 November 2012