Pet Fire Safety Day

Curious pets may like to explore the house when left alone, but this can become life-threatening if your pet’s investigation accidentally leads to a house fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 1,000 house fires every year are started accidentally by pets.

July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety day, and in preparation for this day of recognition, The Fire Department News Network offers a series of tips for helping prevent your pet from starting a fire in your home:
  • Extinguish open flames. A curious pet will surely investigate a candle flame, a dwindling fireplace fire or even left out cooking utensils. Make sure that all open flames are completely extinguished and stovetops cooled before leaving your pet alone in the house.
  • Remove stove knobs.Knobs on the front of a stove can easily be turned on by a jumping pet. Remove knobs or cover them before leaving the house so your pet can’t accidentally turn on your stove. It also can’t hurt to be sure that nothing flammable is near the stovetop, just in case.
  • Buy flameless candles.For the ambiance without the risk, flameless candles are a good option to prevent a fire started by the flick of a cat’s tail. 
  • Don’t leave water bowls on wooden decks. On a hot, sunny day, it makes sense to leave a bowl of water outside for your pet. Make it a stainless steel or ceramic bowl instead of a glass bowl, however, as the sun’s rays when filtered through the water and glass can heat up a deck below it and potentially set fire to the wood.

After making these precautions, you can do general pet proofing in your home by looking out for loose wires or other potential hazards. In case a fire does catch in your home, you can also take steps to keep your pets safe:

  • Keep pets near entrances. A pet with the run of the house may be hard to find should a rescue team need to run into the house. Keep your pet in areas close to entrances so that firemen could easily find and rescue your pet. Young pets especially should be kept in confined and easily-accessible areas where they cannot access potential hazards. 
  • Practice escape routes. Always keep collars and leashes ready should you need to make a quick escape with your pet.
  • Invest in smoke alarms AND smoke detection services. Smoke detectors can add an additional layer of protection for monitoring the environment around a pet that is home alone.
  • Hang up a pet alert window cling. Perhaps the most important precaution you can take is to make sure firefighters know that you have a pet inside by hanging up a pet alert window cling in a front window of your home. Label the cling with the number of pets, so a rescue team knows what to look for should you have a house fire or other accident.