Before the pandemic, there was already a growing movement of millennials dreaming about running their own farms. But thanks to the global health crisis giving rise to the cottagecore lifestyle and aesthetic, members of Generation Z are also finding themselves being attracted to the idea of leaving the city behind to start over in a rural area and focus on the simpler things in life.
There’s no denying that there is something romantic about the idea of living on a farm, and it’s a noble dream that will be good for our economy and the planet when done correctly. But farm living also comes with plenty of safety hazards—one that young people need to be ready for. Here are some safety gear and equipment every farmhouse needs to have in its arsenal.
Farms are incredibly prone to fires. Here are some fire safety gear and equipment you need if you want to protect not just your family but also your property:
- Fire-resistant clothes are a must for when you’re conducting tasks that require handling some flammable materials or if you’re doing some work around straw and hay.
- Fire extinguishers must always be at the ready. Make sure to have at least one in every room of every structure, and make sure they are easily accessible for people of all heights. Don’t forget to conduct training with people you’re working and living with to ensure that every one of them knows how to operate the extinguishers should a small fire break out. Don’t forget that extinguishers also expire, so make sure that they are always properly maintained and replaced every time they expire. Inspect them regularly and make sure you always have one in storage areas that keep flammable items and materials.
- Ensure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are working properly. Consider having professionals check these alarms and detectors for you to ensure that they are functioning as they should.
- Have a home fire sprinkler system installed as well. It is a proven way to save lives, lessen injuries, and even mitigate the severity of property damage. If your structures are modern, their contents must be more vulnerable to fires because modern materials burn faster, hotter, and are usually more toxic. They can make every condition fatal in as quick as a few minutes.
- Invest in some durable storage solutions to ensure that your flammable materials and chemicals are properly tucked away.
Respiratory health protection
Because working in farms or agriculture requires being exposed to chemicals of various kinds, it’s important to have some level of protection whenever you’re doing tasks. Farmer’s fever is a real thing, and you want to ensure that you’re protecting your lungs against contaminated dust.
Many farm tasks and activities can put farmers’ health at risk, so follow this step-by-step guide to finding the best type of respirator for your farm:
- Before you invest in a specific type of respirator, you first need to identify the type of hazard you will be encountering on your farm. Are you going to be dealing with particulate contaminants like mists, dust, or fumes? How about spores, which are microscopic and cannot be seen by the naked eye? Gases and vapors are other kinds of respiratory hazards that you need to watch out for. These are usually released from materials like pesticides, liquids, paints, lacquer thinners, and adhesives. And lastly, you might also be facing some type of oxygen-deficient atmosphere, which is also a respiratory hazard. This usually takes place in areas where you store manure.
- Once you’ve identified the types of respiratory hazards you will be facing on the farm, you need to figure out if there’s a way to reduce, if not eliminate, those hazards. For example, can you get away with opting for safer and cleaner products as suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Can you add more ventilation in these areas where oxygen might be more deficient or where you would be working with these toxic chemicals or products? Don’t just rely on the respirator to protect you.
- Aside from a respirator, you can also invest in some nuisance dust masks, although they’re not as effective as approved respirators. Just use these masks for short-term exposure and for people who don’t have a history of breathing limitations or respiratory distress.
Living on and running a farm can be fulfilling, but it can also come with many safety and health hazards. Invest in the proper safety equipment to protect your health, property, and life.
Meta title: Running a Farmhouse? Here’s What You Need for Safety
meta desc: It’s a dream to live on a farm, but it also comes with several safety hazards. Here are some gear and equipment every farmhouse needs to have in its arsenal.