Today is Pet Fire Safety Day! Did you know, according to NFPA, pets and wild animals play a role in starting over 1,000 accidental home fires per year? Yes, you read that right!
Pets are curious by nature and as a pet owner, you need to protect your pets and your home just as you would with your kids. While home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to, it’s also the most preventable. So, how can you help?
HOW TO PREVENT A FIRE:
- Invest in flameless candles – Like we said before, pets are curious by nature. They are likely to be naturally drawn to a flickering flame to figure out what it is. By removing an open flame, you take the danger out of your pet being able to knock it over or catch their own fur on fire.
- Secure pets – Not all pet owners like to crate or secure their animals when they are away. However, this is the easiest method to ensure they cannot find potential fire hazards. Don’t like the crate option? That’s ok! Use a baby gate and secure items and opportunities in the space they are confined to.
- Extinguish open flames – When curiosity takes over, your pet is likely going to investigate what you’re cooking on the stove or that warm fire you have going on a cool night. It’s extremely important not to leave your pets unattended in these situations and to ensure you put out the flame before leaving the room or your home.
- Regularly check electrical cords – Checking your electrical cords regularly will tell you if you have a chewing problem. This is also one of the most common problems start by wild animals. If you find you have a chewer, it’s best to get the issues checked out and resolved by a professional.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A FIRE:
- Have a fire safety plan – Every family should have a fire safety plan and your pets should be included. As you practice your plans, you should bring your pets along too. Training will aid them in making sure they understand what to do in these situations and help to ensure they listen to you when called.
- Placement is key – If there is a fire, your pets best chance is to be placed in their crate by a door or window for the firefighters to easily find them and get them out. If you can place them in an entrance, even better! Don’t forget to include collars and leashes nearby.
- Window sticker – Just like you might have an alarm sticker or sign to prevent intruders, a pet window sticker for first responders tells your firefighters exactly what furry friends might be in your home. Including the type of pet, number of pets and names will be critical information in helping rescuers locating your pets.
- Smoke Alarms & Fire Extinguishers – Test your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers at least once a month and make sure they are located throughout your home and on every level. Don’t skip this step! It might just save your life.
WHAT TO DO DURING A FIRE:
If you are inside your home when the fire breaks out, grab your family and pets and find the nearest exit. Do not delay you or your families escape if you are having trouble locating one of your pets. It’s best to get out as quickly as possible and notify the firefighters as soon as they get there if they need to help locate the missing animal.
Whether you’re home or arrive on scene after a fire, never go back inside a burning home or structure. The best thing you can do to ensure your safety and theirs is to keep a safe distance, call their name from afar and let your firefighters do what they are trained to do.
In the event of a fire, are you prepared? If not, take these tips for Pet Fire Safety and get started now!