Rural arson

Rural Watch logoEvery year in the UK approximately 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 acres of grassland are destroyed by fire. Half of these are started deliberately, either as an act of vandalism or a fraudulent insurance claim.

A serious fire on a farm can affect the financial stability of the business plus cause enormous damage to the environment. It is calculated that 40% of businesses that suffer arson attacks never trade successfully again.

Farms are particularly vulnerable to arson, as their isolated location, open boundaries and readily ignitable hay and straw make them an easy target. While arson attacks on farms and smallholdings may be difficult to eliminate, a number of simple precautions can substantially reduce the risk of attack.

Things to consider

Assessing the risk

A quick and simple survey will identify areas where an arsonist could strike. If there are certain areas you are unsure about, ask your local Dedicated Neighbourhood Police Officer or insurance advisor for assistance.

Your survey may reveal the need to:

If a fire breaks out

Preventing fires in grassland and standing crops

The danger of fire during hot weather is self-evident, but many fires occur in spring and late summer due to carelessness.

To help prevent these types of fires

If you allow others to make use of your grassland:

Most farms are easy to access, and this makes total security impossible, but there is a lot you can do to reduce the risks and it doesn’t necessarily involve extra expense.

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