Thank you to Dr. Betten at Lakeside Paws Veterinary Clinic for providing the information for this article.
July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day! Know the facts, be prepared, and protect your pets.
On an annual basis, 1,000 fires are started by pets, and 40,000 pets die in house fires. National Pet Fire Safety Day reminds us to consider our pets when planning fire routes and safety in our homes. Our pets are as much a part of our family as any other member. Taking preventable measures now can both save your home and your pet.
What can we do to protect our pets from a house fire?
Keep your pets out of trouble.
There are many ways to keep your pet from causing a fire. Blow out candles before leaving home or leaving a room so they aren’t tipped over with a paw or tail. Consider using flameless candles.
Just as you would go through your home to babyproof it, do the same through the lens of your pet’s safety. Keep any and all loose wires out of chewing distance, especially from kittens and puppies!
Block off access to the kitchen or remove stove knobs if pets can reach it. Your pet may nudge the stove knobs just enough to ignite a burner. Knob covers are an inexpensive and effective way to prevent this from happening.
The hot rays of the sun, when filtered through a glass water bowl on a hot wooden deck, can actually ignite the deck. Use a ceramic or stainless steel bowl instead.
Have a pet rescue plan in place.
Discuss with your family who will be in charge of rescuing your pet in the event of a fire. Planning and practicing fire drills will help the family remain calm and ensure that your pets are not forgotten during a chaotic evacuation.
You can make an emergency kit with supplies like medications, medical records, leashes, carriers, current photos in case they’re lost, bowls, can opener, plastic bags to clean up waste, toys, pet beds, emergency contact numbers, food, and bottled water.
Make rescuers aware of your pets and their hiding places.
A rescue alert sticker placed on a front-facing window alerts rescue workers that there are pets in the home. You can find stickers at pet stores and online stores. As part of your evacuation plan, include a list of your pet’s hiding places so that firefighters will know where to look in case your pets don’t make it out with you.
Arrange for a safe place for your pets if you have to evacuate. If your home isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets either. In case your pets escape on their own and get lost during an emergency, keep your pet’s identification on them and up-to-date. Make sure your pets have collars with current tags securely attached and consider having them microchipped for an added layer of identification.
How to Observe National Pet Fire Safety Day
Put the above tips into practice and have a practice fire drill. Use #PetFireSafetyDay to post on social media and share this information with your friends. It takes a village to keep our pets safe!