With Pet Fire Safety Day being celebrated this month, it’s a good time to think about how to be prepared in case of a fire when your pet is home alone, and ways to prevent house fires while not home. Per the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected by home fires each year.
That’s why the American Kennel Club started this day to educate pet owners about the potential fire hazards that could occur when pets are home alone. Some of them seem common, like ensuring your smoke detectors are spread out throughout your house, and that they are tested regularly. Others are more unique, like the dangers of a glass bowl magnifying sunlight on a wooden deck. The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services recommend the following tips to prevent fires:
- Make sure you extinguish all open flames. If you like candles, consider making the change to flameless candles.
- Removing stove knobs or cover them before you leave the house.
- Keep pets near entrances when you aren’t home.
- Keep puppies away from fire-starting hazards, like exposed cords and wires.
Planning for an emergency is beneficial for everyone – including your animals. In the event of a fire keep these tips in mind:
Preparation is Key
Keep your pet’s collar and leash near the door, so responders can use them to get the pets out. Consider making an emergency kit of any medications, leash/collar, and anything else your pet may need in the following days.
Know Where Your Pet Naps
Know where your pet naps or hides when they’re frightened. This will most likely be where they hide during a fire.
Create an Evacuation Plan
Create an evacuation plan and practice it with your family and with your pets. Assign everyone a role, that way everyone knows just what they should do during an emergency.
When You Aren’t Home
When you aren’t home, confine dogs to rooms that are near the entry doors. If there is a fire, the firefighters can easily find them.
Let Firefighters Know You Have a Pet
The ASPCA has stickers to place on your windows to tell firefighters how many pets are in the home and what kind. This saves them time when searching for pets.
Leave the House Even If You Can’t Find Your Pet
If you are unable to find your pet while exiting your home, leave the door open and call for them. Do not re-enter the home. The door they frequent the most would work the best, but that may not be an option.
Being prepared and taking the proper precautions will lower the chances of a fire and the devastation it can cause. The thought of a fire makes us all nervous, so imagine how frightening it is for your pets. With the above tips, you’ll be one step closer to keeping them safe, and potentially saving their lives.