July 15th is Pet Fire Safety Day: Keeping Your Pets Safe
National Pet Fire Safety Day started in 2009 to help educate pet owners on the best safety practices to prevent fires and plan for unexpected emergencies. According to the American Red Cross, home fires are the most common disaster requiring an emergency response with 500,000 pets being affected annually. Additionally, about 1,000 fires a year are started by pets. Aside from the obvious devastation and destruction, the most unfortunate thing about house fires is that they are often preventable.
In observance of National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15th, here are some fire safety tips to keep your family and fur babies safe.
Curiosity and Cats…Dogs, Too!
Pets are curious by nature. What starts as a dancing flame or a tangle of electrical cords can become a toy in seconds, igniting a fire. Find creative ways to secure unsafe household items.
Just Say No To Candles
Candles are the number one culprit in most house fires. If you still want to set a festive mood, invest in flameless candles. They contain light bulbs rather than an open flame, removing the dangerous temptation from your pets.
Consider Your Stove
Even if you double and triple check the stove before you leave, it’s best to find ways to secure the knobs both while you’re home and away. You can also remove them completely. It only takes a little cat kick to create havoc.
Secure Your Fireplace
Much like candles, fireplaces serve many cozy purposes in your home. Without proper care, stray sparks and embers can quickly ignite nearby fabrics including rugs, curtains, and even pet beds. Make sure to keep flammable items at a safe distance, and never leave a blazing fire unattended.
Avoid Glass Bowls
You may not consider glass a fire hazard, but remember that any glass left in the sun acts as a magnifying glass that focuses the sun’s rays into a beam that can quickly start a fire. Consider using plastic or metal pet bowls, especially outside on wooden decks.
While all pets get into their share of mischief, young pets are the most likely to get into trouble. If you’re planning to leave them alone, consider leaving them in a pet-proofed room or crate. For longer absences, finding a pet-sitting or boarding option might be best.
Keep Necessary Things Near The Door
When stocking any emergency preparedness kits, don’t forget your pets. Keep leashes and collars accessible for quick exits. It’s also best to have pets microchipped in case they escape during an evacuation.
Post Important Pet Information
Acquire a pet alert window cling and stick it in a prominent window in your house, ideally the room in which the pets stay while you’re away. Include critical information that will help firefighters quickly identify the location and number of pets in your home.
In Honor of Pet Fire Safety Day, Implement a Plan
Practicing a potential fire evacuation plan isn’t just for schools, they are great ideas for families as well. Knowing which family member will be responsible for each pet helps avoid confusion in a crisis.
We hope these tips will keep you and your four-legged family members safe!