While most pet owners recognize the potential harm that a home fire can cause their pet, few pet owners consider that their pet can actually cause a devastating home fire to occur. According to the National Fire Protection Association, roughly half a million pets are affected by home fires every year, and nearly one thousand of these fires are accidentally started by pets. And while these beloved animals can then be trapped in a burning home from which they cannot escape, there is also the extensive damage to the home to consider. It is therefore important to understand how one can prevent against home fires and keep their pet and themselves safe.
Fire Safety & Prevention Tips
1. Never leave open flames unattended. All pets are curious creatures, and will inevitably want to investigate cooking appliances, candles or even fireplace fires. It is important to never leave them on unattended, and to always completely extinguish all flames prior to leaving the home.
2. Remove or cover stove knobs. The National Fire Protection Association has indicated that stove and cook tops are the number one piece of equipment involved in pet-started home fires. By removing or covering these knobs, you can prevent against them being turned on.
3. Prevent glass water bowls from being left outdoors on wooden decks. Just as a magnifying glass can concentrate the sun’s rays and start a fire, so can a glass water bowl left on a wooden deck. It is better to use stainless steel or ceramic bowls on wooden decks instead.
4. Keep your pets near the entrance to the home when you leave the home. In the case of a home fire, firefighters will be able to more easily and quickly rescue pets that are contained near the entrance to the home.
5. Secure young pets when you leave the home. Crates and baby gates can keep kittens and puppies away from potential hazards while you are away from home.
6. Use monitored smoke detectors. If your smoke detector goes off while you are away from home, there is still nothing your pet can do to escape the home. Monitored smoke detectors allow for monitoring centers to send emergency responders to your home when you aren’t there.
7. Use a Pet Alert window cling. Writing down the number and type of pets inside your house on a window cling and placing this on a front window will help firefighters to quickly locate and rescue your pets.