July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day, created to spread awareness of how to keep pets safe in the event of a fire. About 500,000 pets per year are involved in fires, with 1,000 fires actually started by pets.
PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES
- Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
- Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
- Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
- Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.
KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE
- Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
- Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
- Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed. They can be purchased here.
It is also suggested that you know your pet’s favorite hiding places, since that is where they will go when they are scared. Also, since they may panic in the chaos of a fire, they should be evacuated secured by a leash or pet carrier.
Also, most importantly, owners should never return to their burning home to look for pets. There have been several instances of people injured or killed by fires when they were looking for pets. Firefighters have the equipment necessary to locate the pets safely.[apsp-follow-button name=’pinterest’ button_label=’Follow Us on Pinterest’ image_width=”300″]