Thursday, April 13, 2006

Death on the Farm

It was reported that more than 2,300 hogs were killed in a fire that swept through a Franklin County, Iowa hog confinement operation. Of the four confinement barns, only one could be saved and it is expected that more animals will die from smoke inhalation. The Franklin County sheriff said he thought that the fire was caused by a malfunctioning piece of machinery used in cleaning.

It bears reiterating that someone is going to be out a lot of money here, whether it's the insurance company or the consumer by way of higher prices. The ISO Pork people have lost the use of a valuable facility and the increase that the hogs would have brought. In all likelihood some people will be out of work for a while.

Fires spread fast in timber frame buildings with open plan interiors. It is a good time to think about fire suppression and your plans to deal with a fire should one break out in your facility. It's mandatory that the electrical system and its attendant appliances be in good order. If you have the skills and the understanding, now is the time to survey the electrical system in your barns and make sure it is in good working condition. Use some honest self appraisal of your skills-if you do not have the ability or understanding, hire a reputable electrician in your local community to do this for you. Your critters will thank you.


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