Somerset farm suffers £100,000 worth of damage following arson attack

A Wiveliscombe farm has suffered £100,000 worth of damage during a deliberate barn fire. 

A Wiveliscombe farm has suffered £100,000 worth of damage during a deliberate barn fire. 
Stock photo.

The incident happened at a farm off Taunton Road, sometime between midnight and 12.15 am on Sunday 17th March. 

The damage to the barn and its contents is estimated at around £100,000. 

Avon and Somerset Police are appealing for any information or witnesses in relation to the arson attack. 

Their spokesperson said: “If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in this area around the time, or have information on who may be responsible, then please contact us. 

“If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5224068762, or complete our online appeals form.” 

Barn on the Somerset farm after arson attack.

Reduce the risk

According to NFU Mutual’s Fire Safety guide to arson, the incidents can occur at any time of the day or night, although most attacks take place between 7pm and 7am.  

Many are caused by children with matches or lighters, but others may set fires for a variety of reasons including boredom, malice, peer pressure or emotional crises.  

The insurer said that both the likelihood of an arson attack and the severity of damage can be reduced by implementing an arson risk management program focussing on security improvements. 

By improving the security of your property in addition to other recommended measures, you can substantially reduce the risk of becoming a victim of arson. 

READ MORE: Surrey farm appeals for witnesses after devastating fire

READ MORE: Around 130 tonnes of barley lost in overnight fire

How to prevent farm arson attacks

NFU Mutual issued a number of tips to help farmers tackle farm arson: 

  • Install or upgrade your automatic fire alarm system 
  • Consider the installation of automatic fire sprinkler protection to reduce the risk of fire growth and spread in the event of ignition 
  • Do not store pallets or other combustible materials in close proximity to buildings, clear space of at least 7 metres but wherever possible, 10 metres 
  • Secure the premises with fence, walls and gates 
  • Secure an external basement, ground floor, or other accessible windows with key operated locks 
  • Always try to prevent access to roofs by, among others, securing ladders stored within the buildings using good quality chains
  • Install security lighting, either on timer switches or fitted with passive infra-red detectors that detect movement  
  • Consider the installation of CCTV of external areas of the premises

Read more rural crime news.

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