Emergencies can happen at any moment. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets. While we may never be able to fully prevent such events from happening, we can prepare ourselves and our pets for when they do. In light of National Pet Fire Safety Day coming up on July 15, we put together important tips concerning fire safety in your home. Use this list to ensure that you and your furry friends are prepared should a fire break out.
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 or Protect Stove Knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house – a stove or cooktop 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.
Inspect and Pet Proof – Be alert to loose electrical wires, appliances, and other hazards within your pet’s reach. 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.
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.
Note where your pets like to nap or hide – This is important in the event that you must evacuate your home quickly. Remember that pets can be exponentially more difficult to round up if they sense stress—especially cats! Practice crating your pets in advance to make it a positive experience so they don’t go running when you pull out their crate during any type of emergency.
Have an emergency plan, and practice escape routes with your pet – Include all members of the family in this plan, and make sure they know what to do and where to go.
Keep the phone number and address of a local animal hospital handy – If your pet is injured, you’ll need to know where to take them for treatment quickly.
Put up a PET ALERT sticker or sign near each entrance so firefighters know how many and what kind of pets are in the home. You can download a free tag below to print and tape up near your entrances.