Information and advice to reduce deliberate fires for farmers and land owners.

Each year in the UK over 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 areas of grassland are destroyed by fire and half of these fires are deliberate.


Farms and properties in rural areas are particularly vulnerable due to their isolated location, available fuel sources (flammables like straw and hay) and open boundaries. More than 40% of businesses who have a serious fire NEVER recover financially.

Most deliberate fires are unplanned and opportunist crimes. Follow our advice to reduce your risk:

Be prepared – have plans in place:

  • Ensure your Fire Risk Assessment is up to date (Legal requirement RR(FS)O 2005)
  • Consider a FIRE BOX at the property entrance containing details to help Firefighters e.g. location of water supplies, map of land, list of livestock, types and locations of hazardous materials
  • Have identified areas to relocate livestock in your emergency plan
  • Keep entrance and exit routes clear and ensure sufficient space for fire engines to access if required
  • For help on plans, contact your local fire service:

Good housekeeping:

  • Securely store gas cylinders/fuel storage tanks/old equipment to protect from theft and fire
  • Store hay and straw in separate buildings at least 10 metres apart
  • Store refuse securely, away from property and out of sight and dispose of regularly to prevent build-up, consider alternates to burning like composting
  • Separate and secure flammables and agrochemicals with hazard warnings for firefighters
  • Avoid storing flammables with vehicles or livestock
  • Plan ahead for busy periods when you have large amounts of crops


  • Secure your storage areas and outbuildings with padlocks/locks
  • Secure your boundaries and block gaps in walls, hedges or fences
  • Fit external lighting to alert you to intruders or consider CCTV (to support a prosecution this needs to be 4 megapixels and have resolution of min. 1080p res)
  • Report anti-social behaviour confidentially to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555111
  • Join your local FARMWATCH scheme


Small fires can rapidly develop in to wildfires devastating the countryside and property, particularly during dry hot weather. If you own or manage an area with public access, there are some steps you can take to help prevent deliberate fires from affecting you:


  • Have a Land Management Plan – felled trees etc. can be seen as ‘fuel’ by arsonists. Logs could provide you with extra income
  • Ensure you have clear public safety notices (clear rubbish, no BBQs etc)
  • Have a hot weather plan (restrictions; extra patrols; firebreaks)
  • Have a waste management plan and appropriately sited metal bins
  • Clearly define if and where camping is permitted
  • If fires/BBQ’s permitted provide hard standing (paving slab/sand)


  • Secure your boundaries and block gaps in walls, hedges or fences
  • Clear walkways of overgrowth to prevent build-up of debris and improve visibility
  • Report and remove fly-tipping immediately
  • Report suspicious behaviour to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111

Contact the Forestry Commission/ Forestry England for advice and grant information:

If you see a fire in the countryside Call 999 immediately and use the What3Words app to give an exact location.