Home-Grown Fire Risk

This year has seen a number of wildfires affecting woodlands and forests around the UK.

  • Hot dry spells leave the vegetation in a dry and readily combustible state. Wildfires are caused by many things but this year, disposable BBQs have come under particular This may be due to lockdown restrictions and the earlier good weather.

However, a recent machine inspection revealed the build-up of a potential home-grown source of a fire. Over time many machines have caught light working on site. There tends to be two main factors, oil leaks and dried forest debris around the engine and belly pan. These often combine to increase risk. The ignition source has either been electrical or heat build.

On the machine inspected in the recent case there was a build-up of fine wood dust across the engine bay and exhaust system. This could have led to a fire risk if the build- up had continued unchecked.



  • When carrying out your regular machine checks and maintenance, look for evidence of oil leaks and build-up of forest debris. The machine belly plate can be a collection point.
  • Regular cleaning can reduce the chance of a fire.
  • Electrical repairs on a machine must be carried out competently to minimise risk of fire.
  • Ensure on-board fire extinguisher systems are maintained in accordance to the manufacturer’s requirements. This can cause insurance issues if you don’t maintain them.