Pet Fire Safety: Keep Your Pets Safe!
July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day! Each year thousands of pets are injured or killed in fires. A fire emergency can happen without warning, so it’s important to be prepared just in case. Taking a few easy precautions can help keep your pets safe in a fire.
Home Fire Prevention
Taking measures to prevent fires is the best thing you can do. Here are some ways to prevent fires from starting in your home.
- Watch out for open flames – Having open flames around your home could lead to disaster, even if you are careful. Candles and fireplaces are common culprits. If you do decide to light a candle or have a fire in your fireplace, keep an eye on it. A pet can easily stumble through and knock a lit candle over.
- Be mindful of stovetops – A pet could accidentally start a fire if they are wandering around your kitchen. If a pet accidentally hits a stovetop knob or bumps something by the stove, there could be consequences. Discourage pets from walking around the stove or keep covers on the stovetop to prevent accidents.
- Look out for loose wires – Pets may accidentally trip on, or chew on, loose wires and cables. Lamps, plugs, and other wires can quickly become a fire hazard. Keep these wires safely tucked away from a pet’s reach.
- Don’t use glass bowls – Though glass food and water bowls may look nice, they can also be a fire hazard when used outside. If positioned directly in the sun’s rays, it could magnify the heat and accidentally cause a fire on a deck or porch. Instead, opt for plastic or ceramic bowls.
Fire Safety Tips
These additional steps can make it easier to keep your pet safe if a fire does occur!
- Rescue Alert Stickers – Having a decal on your windows indicating the number of pets in your home can help firefighters locate them during an emergency.
- Install monitored Smoke Detectors – monitored smoke detectors will automatically alert the local fire department if they are set off. If a fire breaks out when you are not home, firefighters can still respond.
- Keep note of where your pets hide – If you need to evacuate quickly, knowing where to find pets can help make the process go faster. It may also help firefighters locate your pets.
- Create an emergency kit – Having an emergency kit ready to go can come in handy when you need to leave your home quickly. Place the kit near an exit.
- Microchip your pets – While having your contact information on your pet’s collar is important, a microchip is a more permanent form of identification. If you pet is separated from you during a fire, this can help reunite you!
The best thing you and your family can do is create a fire plan together. This includes going over escape routes, meeting points, and other emergency protocol. For more about how to put together a fire plan, click here! It’s also important to assign someone to collect the pet(s), if possible when evacuating. Having assigned roles helps mitigate confusion during a stressful situation. Be sure to rehearse your fire plans!
During a Fire
If a fire starts in your home, carry out your fire plan. If possible, have someone grab a leash or crate to help secure your pet. If the fire becomes too dangerous, do not try to find your pet. Instead, get out and leave a door open. Let the firefighters know that there may be a pet inside. Do not risk your safety to find your pet!
Even with preparation, fires can still occur. Hopefully these tips will help keep your family, and pets, safe.