As the calendar rolls by July 15, we are once again reminded of Pet Fire Safety day. This day is two-fold; 1) how we can protect our homes from fires started by pets, and 2) how we can protect our pets in case of a fire.
ABC television affiliate WIRC’s Amy Lacey interviewed Lt. Jason Elmore from Chesterfield Fire & EMS. Click the image to open a new window with the video.
Back in 2009, The American Kennel Club together with ADT Security Services established National Pet Fire Safety Day to raise awareness among pet owners of the fire hazards their cat, dog or other animal could pose at home, with the hope that many of these fires can be prevented.
The AKC and ADT offer these tips:
PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES
- Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
- Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
- Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
- Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.
KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE
- Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
- Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
- Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed.
The ASPCA offers free window clings which you can order using this link.
The National Fire Protection Association offers this free downloadable checklist to help you prepare for the need to evacuate you and your pet. This is also helpful should you need to quickly leave your home during a fire. Household Pet Evacuation Kit
Always be prepared for pet emergencies with a Pet First Aid Kit.