Did you know that nearly 500,00 pets are involved in a house fire each year? With about 1,000 of them started by the homeowner’s pets! National Pet Fire Safety Day is a day to spread awareness about how to keep your pet safe during a house fire and how to prevent your pet from potentially starting one.
Prevention is Key:
Extinguish Open Flames
Pets can be curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even fire in your fireplace. Never leave your pet unattended around an open flame and make sure to put out any open flames before leaving your home.
Remove or Protect Stove Knobs
Pets accidentally turning on stove knobs is the leading reason for pet started fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Remove or protect stove knobs when you are sleeping or going to be away from your home.
Consider investing in flameless candles, which contain a light bulb rather than an open flame. This takes the danger out of your pet accidentally knocking a candle over, something that cats are notorious for.
No Glass Water Bowls on Wooden Decks
Like starting a fire with a magnifying glass, the reflection of light through glass bowls can generate enough heat to ignite a wooden deck. Stainless steel or ceramic water dishes cannot focus light in the same way.
Inspect and Pet Proof
Be alert to loose electrical wires, appliances, and other hazards within your pet’s reach.
Keeping Your Pets Safe in Case of Fire:
Pet Rescue Sticker
Affix a pet rescue sticker to a front window of your home. Mark the type of animals inside your home, dog, cat, bird etc. and the number of each, as well as your name and contact information. This will let rescuers know that there are pets inside that need help. Often times owners are not home when a fire starts and this sticker could save your pet’s life.
Consider smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center that will contact emergency responders when you are away from your home. If a fire starts and you’re not home your pet can’t escape or call for help, so you need rescuers to be alerted as quickly as possible. The quicker they arrive at the scene the better chance your pets have of surviving.
Designate a Pet Buddy
Have more than one pet and a few family members inside your home? If so then assign one pet to each person as their responsibility. This will save confusion during a fire when everyone is trying to quickly make their way outside.
Locate Your Pet’s Hiding Spots
Know where your pet’s hide. During a fire your pets will be frightened and will most likely run to a place they feel safe. During a fire you will not have a lot of time to run around and search for your pet. It is important to locate them quickly so you and your pet can get outside to safety as fast as possible.
Secure Your Pet When Evacuating
Keep leashes and pet carriers near entrances and ready to access. Just like your pets are afraid of fireworks, smoke will have the same effect, They may bolt on you the minute they get out the door, making it hard to find them. Be sure your pets are on a leash or contained in a carrier when exiting your home.
Pet Emergency Kit
Be sure to have a pet emergency kit, you should always keep one in your home as well as one in your car. Learn more about pet emergency kits here.
Create an Open Access
If you must evacuate and you can not find your pet, leave a door open which leads to the outside. Once you are safely outside call your pet’s name, with any luck they will follow your voice and head for the exit. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as well with cats as it does with dogs. Be sure you and your family have a designated meeting area outside the home, where you can account for everyone including your pets.