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Farm chemical security and safety

How to safely use and store chemicals on your farm, and what to do if chemicals or fuel are stolen.

Taking care while using and storing chemicals on your farm can help keep you, your family, workers and property safe.

Explore ways to safely store and use chemicals, and crime prevention tips to avoid your chemicals being stolen.

Key crime prevention tips

  • Secure your property.
  • Know what you’re using and how to use it.
  • Store chemicals safely.
  • Keep your fuel and chemicals safe.

Chemical security checklist

Secure your property

  • Install sensor lights around all buildings and sheds.
  • Install CCTV cameras throughout the property and around the perimeter. Ensure cameras cover all buildings and sheds, and entry and exit points. Use solar cameras where wired cameras can’t be used.
  • Keep chemical and fuel storage facilities within sight of the main house.
  • Lock all buildings and sheds with good quality locks.
  • Install trespass warning signs at the front and throughout the property.
  • Tell your neighbours if you are planning on being away for an extended period.

Know what you’re using and how to use it

  • Establish a biosecurity plan for your property. Learn more about biosecurity on the Agriculture Victoria websiteExternal Link .
  • Keep a record of the chemicals you buy. Records should include:
    • how much of the chemical you have used
    • where the chemical is stored
    • when the chemical expires
    • the batch number.
  • Keep accurate records to help identify any losses and potential thefts.
  • Keep two copies of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical. Keep one copy with the chemical and one somewhere else.

Store chemicals safely

  • Only use chemicals according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Store chemicals and fertilisers in their original containers.
  • Do not decant into smaller bottles.
  • Keep all labels on the containers.
  • Store chemicals in a well-ventilated shed.
  • Ensure the storage shed has floors that will contain spills.
  • Store different classes of chemicals separately to prevent reactions.
  • Separate animal feed, seed and fertiliser from other chemicals to avoid cross-contamination.

Keep your fuel and chemicals safe

To prevent the risk of fuel or chemical fires, ignition sources must be kept at least:

  • Eight metres from fertilisers or chemicals
  • Eight metres from diesel storage tanks
  • 15 metres from petrol storage tanks.

What to do if chemicals or fuel have been stolen

  • Report any unexpected losses immediately.
  • If you see the thief, do not confront them. Your safety is more important than your possessions.
  • Do not touch anything.
  • Call your insurance company.

Report it

For emergencies, to report a crime in progress, or for immediate police attendance, call Triple Zero (000).

For non-emergencies, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report online at Police Assistance Line and Online Reporting.

Report anonymously to Crime Stoppers by:

Additional resources

Reviewed 13 September 2023

Farm safety

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