A warning to pig farmers to check their alarm systems has been issued by an environmental specialist.
“Many pig farmers are not taking their alarm systems for controlled-environment houses seriously enough,” said Tim Miller of ARM Buildings.
“During the recent hot weather, I was inundated with calls from farmers who have had alarms going off. But it’s no good just having an audible alarm if you are 20 minutes away from your piggery on a hot summer’s day. The fail-safe mechanism needs to be working efficiently, too,” he said.
The law requires owners of such buildings to check their alarm system as a safeguard against their piggeries overheating.
One of the most important items to check is the batteries which act as a back-up in the event of a power failure. “The main battery – which operates the siren, auto-dialling and text alarm on monitored houses – should be changed every year as a routine while the batteries operating inlets and emergency outlets should be regularly scrutinised and changed when needed. Their cost is not great in relation to the value of the pigs.
It is important that the back-up emergency ventilation system is triggered as soon as the alarm goes off so the mechanism operating the inlets and outlets must be checked.
“In my experience, until farmers see a pen full of distressed pigs they don’t take their alarm systems seriously,” said Mr Miller.
“Houses which have monitoring will not only alert the farmer remotely, but show him where the problem is, too. There is also a record of when the problem occurred and the response which can be important for verification.”