In honor of National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15th, 2018, we offer these pet fire safety tips to keep your pets, you, and your home safe from fire hazards, or fire caused by your pets.
Did you know: Roughly a half million pets are affected by house fires each year, according to the American Red Cross.
There are 3 key aspects to protecting your pets from fire:
- Preventing your pets from starting fires
- Evacuation plans for your pets in the event of a fire
- Helping firefighters find your pet if there’s a fire in your home
PET FIRE SAFETY TIP 1: HELP PREVENT YOUR PETS FROM STARTING FIRES
Pets accidentally start roughly 1,000 home fires happen each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and most of these fires are preventable. Here are some pet fire safety tips designed to help prevent house fires started by pets.
Avoid Open Flames – Pets, especially youngsters, are curious about everything and will eagerly investigate open flames from candles, burners on the stove, and fire pits.
Pet Fire Safety Tips:
- Invest in flameless, LED candles
- Don’t leave your pets unattended when you’ve got something cooking on the stove
- Don’t leave anything on the stove in case your pet manages to move the burner knobs on the front of the stove.
- Secure the area around the grill or fire pit and/or secure your pets in another room or crate when there’s open flames in the grill or fire pit.
Secure Electrical Cords – Pets who are toy chewers will frequently chew on electrical cords. Not only can your pets suffer severe injury, but the frayed electrical cord is a potential fire hazard.
Pet Fire Safety Tips:
- Secure electrical cords from your pets by running cords behind furniture, using protective “cord management” conduit, or by providing a physical barrier to the electrical cords.
PET FIRE SAFETY TIP 2: PLAN FOR PET EVACUATION IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE
Fire safety officials always recommend that you have a fire evacuation plan in place for people – and that applies to pets, too.
Advance-planning items to put in place for your pets in the event of a house fire include:
- Plan for House Evacuation of Your Pets: Determine how you are going to get your pets out of the house if there’s a fire. That includes planning for what to do if you’re trapped on the second floor. Consider installing a fire ladder and having a harness for lowering your dog to the first floor, and a sturdy but flexible cat carrier with sturdy handles that could be used to lower your cat down from a second story.
- Prepare a Pet “Go-Bag”: If you’re going to have to go stay somewhere else after a house fire, another item to have in place is a Pet “Go-Bag.” This Go-Bag will have items your pet needs if you have to go stay somewhere else, including food, meds, identification, and more.
- Keep Emergency Vet Info Handy: If your pet is injured in a fire, have information readily at hand for your veterinary hospital, and for the local 24/7 emergency veterinary center.
PET FIRE SAFETY TIP 3: HELP FIRST RESPONDERS SAVE YOUR PETS
Here are some tips to help first responders save your pets:
Window Sticker Alert: Put a window sticker alert on your front door for first responders that tells them how many pets are inside.
Easy Access to Collars & Leashes: Keep leashes easily visible near the front door so responders can use the leash to keep your pet under control when they’re rescuing them.
Choose Easy-to-find Locations for Your Pets When You Leave the House: When you’re leaving the house, help out the first responders by placing your pets in locations where first responders can easily find your pets & evacuate them.
The bottom line is that many house fires accidentally caused by pets are preventable with some planning & strategic assessment of fire hazards in your home. Follow the pet fire safety tips listed above & keep everyone in your household safe!
Mile High Animal Hospital of Aurora is open 7 days a week, with evening hours, too. If you have a veterinary emergency, contact us at: 303.693.6484 & we will advise you on whether to bring your pet in or go to a 24/7 emergency veterinary center.