NFU Mutual offers fire suppression kit insurance discounts

Farmers who fit approved fire suppression systems to their combines this harvest could be in line for a healthy insurance discount from NFU Mutual.

The offer will knock 25% off their agricultural vehicle premium, but those interested will have to move fast, as it’s only available until 1 September, after which a lesser 15% discount will apply.

See also: Latest technology for putting out harvest machinery fires

Retrofit fire suppression systems use lines of pressurised detection tubing routed around the combine, which rupture under intense heat.

This initiates the release of powder and foam from strategically placed nozzles to quickly extinguish any flames.

The burden of fitment is currently placed on combine owners, but the insurer is calling for legislation that requires manufacturers to fit the kits as standard on all new machines.

NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist Hannah Binns said: “Fires can spread at frightening speeds and modern combines are so large and complex that one component overheating or wiring short-circuiting can lead to a huge blaze.

“Finding a replacement combine or an agricultural contractor with spare capacity during harvest can also be tricky, subsequently impacting the business.

“In the long term, we would like to see regulation requiring manufacturers to install fire suppression systems as standard on agricultural vehicles to protect farmers’ safety and food security.” 

Chelmsford firm Fireward is currently the most active supplier of fire suppression kits in the agricultural market.

Installation of its system takes about two days and involves threading some 25m of pipework around the major components.

Costs are estimated to be 1-2% of the machine’s original purchase price, with entry level systems starting at about £1,600.

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