National Pet Fire Safety Day Tips
Did you know that as many as half a million pets are affected by house fires every year, with on average 1,000 fires per year started by our pets themselves? With July 15th recognized as National Pet Fire Safety Day, it’s the perfect time to consider the several ways you can develop a fire safety plan that involves your furry friends. We’ve pulled together tips for involving your pet in your fire preparedness planning, alongside ways you can prevent your pet from starting fires in your own home.
Developing a Fire Disaster Plan for Your Pets
Our four-legged companions are family and we want to do all we can to keep our family members safe. So when preparing your family for the event of a fire, make sure to keep your best friend in mind. Including your pets in a disaster plan can go a long way in protecting them should the tragedy of a fire occur. Here are some steps to consider adding to your plan:
- Determine which family members will be responsible for each pet. A lot can happen quickly, so having a designated family member prepared to ensure each pet is safely evacuated from the home can keep furry friends accounted for.
- Know where your pets hide. This may be the first place your pets go if there is a fire.
- Keep an extra leash for each pet near the door or in the garage to help ensure you don’t have to search for a leash before exiting the house.
- Plan to bring your pet’s carrier (or keep an extra in the garage) when you evacuate the house. It can be a safe and comforting place for your pet to be, especially when the fire truck arrives or there is lots of noise during rescue.
- Put a Pet Alert window sticker on a door or window near the front with the number of pets you have in the house. You can find these at pet stores or shelters. It will help the rescue team know to look for your pets, as well as how many they need to search for.
- Ask someone in your family or a friend in advance if they would be willing to keep your pets for you in case of an emergency. If you have to leave your home and go to a shelter, you will most likely not be able to bring your pets with you.
- Develop an exit plan and practice it routinely with the whole family. Running through the plan will help your family be more comfortable with acting swiftly and calmly if a fire does occur. Working out your plan ahead of time will also alert you of any issues that you may not have thought through, before addressing an actual emergency.
How to Help Prevent Your Pet from Starting House Fires
While pets can be the victims of house fire, they can also unintentionally cause them. You’ll want to consider not only how you will keep your furry friends safe in the event of fire started in your home, but to practice prevention steps that won’t allow unintentional fires to start by the cause of your pets. These safety measures can help minimize fire hazards in your home.
Don’t leave open flames unattended
Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace or fire pit. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
Pet-proofing the stovetop
Putting the “lock” on your stovetop, removing the stove knobs, or protecting them with covers before leaving the house can prevent unintentional fires. 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. Dogs or cats can be known for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
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 when you’re gone
Keeping a puppy in a crate or in a secured area behind a baby gate can keep them away from potential fire-starting hazards when you’re away.
Treating Our Pets Like Family Each Day of the Year
It only takes a little bit of time to include your pets in your home evacuation plans and to minimize the fire hazards in your home. National Pet Fire Safety Day is a great time to develop a lifelong plan that will keep your pet safe from fires, and safe from accidentally setting them—all of which can assure that you and your best friend enjoy a happier, healthier life together. For more pet safety tips and information to care for your furry family members, join our Best Friends Club today.