Around 358,500 fires tear through homes every year, and 500,000 pets are lost to home fires. Because of this, the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services teamed up to launch the National Pet Fire Safety Day as a way to educate pet owners about how to keep pets safe during a fire and how to avoid a fire. With increased awareness, the hope is to reduce the number of pets impacted by house fires.
Your Home Should Be Suitable For Your Pet
Ensuring that your home is a secure environment for your pet(s) is one of the most critical steps. Conducting regular walkthroughs of your home to identify potential hazards is highly recommended. It's also essential to check for chewed or loose wires and turn off space heaters when not in use, and especially when pets are home alone. If your stove has knobs on the front, beware. The number one cause of fires started by pets is because they can reach stoves and easily turn them on when applying pressure to knobs. Removing knobs or childproofing them will prevent your pet from starting a dangerous chain of events that leads to a house fire.
Never Leave Your Pet Unattended Around an Open Flame
Open flames such as a burning candle or lit fireplace can leave pets vulnerable to fire danger. Candles or even burning embers can tempt pets, and when knocked over or spilled onto a flammable area, the likelihood of fire grows. One hard-to-identify potential fire-starter is a glass water bowl for your pet that's left on a wooden deck. On a sunny day, bright sun rays that shine directly through it produce a magnifying glass effect and can ignite a fire.
Pets Are More at Risk When Left Home Alone
Did you know that where your pet is when left home alone can make a big difference? Pets should ideally be near the door when home alone and at night so that they can be located quickly by fire personnel. Affixing a pet alert sticker to your window (and keeping it updated) will also help firefighters know how many and which type of pet is in your home. In addition, monitored smoke detectors that connect to an alert system are a great way to catch issues quickly and send help to your pets even if you're away.
Fire Safety Drills Can Be Done With Your Pets
Conducting fire safety drills with your pets and making sure that they come when you call will prevent delays in an emergency. Randomly calling to them, seeing how quickly they come to you, and training them to stay by your side while exiting will help your pet learn to listen when it could save them from harm. Also, be sure to keep necessary items such as leashes, collars, tags, and any of your pet's medications in a "go bag" near the door for easy access. Paying attention to simple details in your home and following basic pet fire safety tips can save pets from causing fires or being harmed by one.
Abigail Baker is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with producer of handicapped pet products, Walkin’ Pets.