IFB Insurance Farm Emergency Plan Helps Save $600,000 Building
Bob Reef, a hog farmer in Adams County, was doing a test run last fall before he brought in a new group of pigs. While fiddling with a faulty heater, he looked up to see another heater ablaze. As he watched, a filter fell into the liquid manure pit, igniting the methane gas. Suddenly, his barn was on fire.
“I grabbed the fire extinguisher and went to work, but the pressure initially spread the fire around,” Reef said. “I ran to the next building and called 911.”
The Berne Fire Department responded quickly and arrived prepared with a copy of Reef’s Farm Emergency Plan prepared by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. A copy of this emergency plan is also housed near the entrance to the Reef farm.
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Reef participates in Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance’s free Farm Safety Program. The program provides farms a fire extinguisher, a farm safety packet and the emergency plan. John Nagle, farm training specialist, worked with Reef to develop a comprehensive emergency plan. Together they discussed each building and its contents, fuel shut off locations and a list of emergency contacts including who to contact if Reef himself is not available.
“Once we develop the plan with the farmer, we provide a copy to the local fire department and have a representative come out to the farm,” Nagle said. “That gives the fire department a chance to study the plan, ask questions and tour the farm.”
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance is the only Indiana insurance company to offer a robust farm safety and emergency plan.
Though the fire smothered itself, the fire department searched for hot spots, proclaiming the barn safe. The only damage sustained was to the faulty heater. No insurance claim was necessary.
“We are really pleased with the emergency plan and how detailed it is,” said Berne Fire Chief John Crider. “The plan and the farm visit helped us know right where to go. It is a great tool.”
“It takes some work to put together, but it is worth it,” Reef said. “The last thing you want is an emergency where someone is killed or injured; I was very lucky, and I’m glad I had the plan in place.”
If you would like to participate in the free Farm Safety Program, simply contact your agent or find one at infb.com/find-agent.