Check your wiring

Our claims data shows many fires are caused by electrical or mechanical faults, and they could have been avoided with regular building and wiring checks. If your farm or commercial buildings were to go up in flames, you’d be facing some serious business interruption. Be aware of early warning signs of an electrical fire, like an acrid burning smell, shocks from switches or outlets, or dimming and flickering lights.

Fire poses a significant risk to your property and contents

Watch out for nests

Birds and vermin don’t go very well with electricity. It’s important to look out for signs of rats or birds near your wiring and remove any nests or other flammable material from switchboards. Make sure your switchboards are properly enclosed and have a rodent management plan such as ensuring the building is tidy, investing in traps and bait, and keeping grass/foliage trimmed back from the external walls of the building.

Water, vermin and birds in switchboards are a common cause of electrical fires

Older buildings have a higher risk

Buildings over 60 years old that have not been upgraded with new electrical wiring and switchboards are at greater risk of fire. If you’ve got older buildings, FMG recommends getting a qualified electrician to check any electrical wiring and switchboards – this should be done every few years alongside regular visual checks for things like overloaded multi-boxes, water damage or charred or discoloured outlets and switches.

switchboard and wiring faults cause most commercial building fires