Pet Fire Safety (Royal Vista Vets)
Pet fire safety is so important because house fires affect an estimated number of up to 500,000 pets each year. Out of the average house fires that occur each year, around 1,000 of them are accidentally caused by pets. Old and young alike, pets are often curious and enjoy exploring. Sometimes they end up getting dangerously close to candles, appliances, electrical cords, fireplaces, and other things that can be fire hazards.
People are often unaware of the serious risks of their own pets causing a fire in their homes. That’s why we want to help inform you on how you can take necessary precautions that could save you, your home, and your pets. Pet fire safety is not something you want to neglect.
Fire Prevention and Precautions:
One of the best things you can do to ensure the safety of your pet is to take every step you can to prevent fires in the first place.
Take preventative steps with your stove
According to the National Fire Protection Association, stoves are the number one way pets accidentally start fires in your home. If there is any way your pet can reach the knobs on your stove, remove them each time after use. You can also find protective covers that will make them impossible to turn on. Even if your pet cannot reach them from the ground, it’s possible that they could still get to them if they manage to get up onto your countertops.
Don’t leave your pet near open flames
Never leave your pet unattended when there is an open flame of any kind: a burning candle, your fireplace, your stovetop, etc. Make sure they are out before you go anywhere.
Keep pet homes away from anything flammable
Whether you have indoor or outdoor pets, keep pet homes, beds, crates, or cages away from anything that could act as a fuel for fire. This could include the chemicals you store in a closet or cupboard or dry bush or grass outdoors that could quickly catch flame.
Replace candles with flameless ones
Invest in flameless candles as an alternative to real candles. This is an excellent preventative measure to take when you have pets in the home.
Monitor your pets
Make sure you are monitoring your pets when you have space heaters plugged in and running.
Keep wires away from reach
Some pets chew on nearly anything. Electrical wires could end up being a major fire risk. As much as possible, keep wires out of their reach or unplug electrical equipment when it is not in use (lamps, chargers, small appliances, etc.).
Cover your fireplace
When you have fires burning in your fireplace, always make sure to put in place the metal or tempered glass protective cover. That way your pet cannot get near the flames.
Crate your pets when leaving home
If you are leaving the house, it may be most safe to crate your pets or block off rooms that have more potential fire hazards.
Pet safety in case of a fire:
Though you may take every preventative measure for pet fire safety, natural disasters like fires can still occur. That’s why it’s so key to be ready with a plan in case of an emergency. Here are some tips on how you can be prepared.
Keep smoke alarms on every floor of the home
It’s a good idea to have smoke alarms on every floor of your house. It’s better yet if you have alarms that are also monitored by emergency services in case there is a fire when you are not home. Test your alarm system often to ensure that it is working properly.
Crate your pets near an exit
When you leave your home, crate your pets near your home entryway. In case of a fire, they can be quickly found and rescued.
Know where your pet hides
Become familiar with the places your pet tends to hide when they’re afraid. Then you’ll know where to find them (or know where to tell emergency personnel to look) in case of a fire.
Have practice fire drills with your family and include your pet. Train your pet to come with you when you call them.
Keep leashes near the door
Always keep your leashes near the door or at an easy-to-grab location. Then you will know immediately where it is in case there is a need to evacuate your home. As tempting as it is to throw it in a random spot after walking your pet, make sure to put it back in its place each time. Pets tend to panic in a state of emergency. That’s why you will want to use the leash (or a pet carrier) to safely remove your pet from the home. If it’s a pet carrier you will need, keep that as near your escape exit as you can.
Keep collars updated
Make sure your pets, both indoor and outdoor, can be clearly identified. Keep information on collars up-to-date.
Put together an emergency kit
Prepare an emergency kit for your pet that you can easily grab (keep near your escape exit) in case you need to evacuate. This kit should include things like your pet’s veterinary documents and shot records, emergency numbers, an updated photo and description, a leash, some pet food (and a can opener if needed), a food & water dish, doggie bags, etc.
Post a pet alert sticker in your window
Keep a pet alert sticker in your window with the number and kinds of pets you have in your home. This will help emergency personnel know what to look for in case they need to rescue your pets. You can usually get these for free at a pet store. ASPCA also provides them online. You can also order them from a Humane Society.