Farm fire claims in the Midlands have risen a staggering 40 per cent from 2016, costing the region £5.4m.
The figures have prompted rural insurer NFU Mutual to call for farmers to check their fire prevention and evacuation procedures.
The most common cause of farm fires was electrical faults, which were responsible for almost half of 2016 fire claims. Arson was the next most common cause.
Tim Price, rural affairs specialist for NFU Mutual said: “Fire remains one of the greatest hazards to the lives of farmers and with claims peaking in February and December.
“It’s important to be alert to the risks and have plans prepared and shared with family members and staff.
He added: “The scale of these claims shows how important it is to take all possible steps to prevent fires breaking out, and to have clear plans to evacuate people and livestock safely in the event of a fire.
“Also, it’s vital to make sure you have the right sort of fire extinguishers maintained in good order so you can fight small fires safely.”
As well as the Midlands, Wales has also seen a 42 per cent increase in claims, costing £1.7m
Some of the key ways to prevent fires are to ensure staff and adult family members know the location of fire extinguishers and how to use them, storing hay and straw at least 10m from other buildings and scheduling regular electrical checks.
For more information on farm fire prevention, visit nfumutual.co.uk