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Farming community learn about fire safety

Farmers are learning about staying fire-safe on their farms ahead of the busiest time of year.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Services teamed up to deliver advice at a safety event in Royston organised by the National Farmers Union.

The Services gave advice and guidance about preventing fires and arsons on farms, as well as what steps should be taken if farmers experience a fire.

More than 100 farmers from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and the surrounding area attended the event on Friday (July 5).

Crews from Biggleswade and Toddington joined Hertfordshire crews from Royston and Baldock to give practical firefighting demonstrations and spoke about the specific challenges they face when dealing with fires on farms.

Andy Martin, Arson Reduction Officer at BFRS, said: “The farmers were all very appreciative of the input provided by the two fire services and it was really great to see such a strong turnout.

“As we head in to one of the busiest times of the year for our farming community, we want to help them reduce their risk of fire. So, events like these are a great opportunity to do just that.”

A free, new app, What3Words, that identifies a location within 3sqm, was also promoted at the event as a key tool for farmers to use to help the emergency services identify the exact location of a fire.

The location technology used by What3Words has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares and each one has been allocated a unique three word address, which means anyone can refer to their exact location simply by using the three words.

The new technology is integrated into the fire service's control room software which means the public can share their three word address when contacting the emergency services.

Julie Springett, HFRS’s Fire Prevention Co-ordinator for Stevenage and North Hertfordshire, added: “Last year’s heatwave saw a large amount of field fires and event barn fires that devastated the farming community. It was great to have the opportunity to team up with our colleagues at Bedfordshire to talk to farmers about what they can do to protect themselves and their land in the summer months.”