When we welcome pets into our home, we think of many things; toys, vet visits, training and maybe obedience school for our new friends. Something that we rarely think of is pet fire safety and emergency plans for our pets. It may seem like a minor concern, but The American Red Cross estimates that over 1,000 fires are started by pet related accidents, and over 500,000 pets are affected by house fires annually. With statistics like these, it becomes apparent that fire safety with your pets is a genuine concern. Read on for some tips on fire prevention with your pets, and how to keep everyone safe in the event of a fire by creating an emergency plan that includes your pets.
Fire Prevention With Pets
The old saying ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to pet fire prevention. There are a few simple steps you can take to help limit the chance of a house fire affecting you and your pets. Take a moment to read them, and try to incorporate them into your life. They’ll soon become a positive habit that will help prevent pet-related fires and keep your family safe.
- *Never leave any flame open and unattended. Candles, incense, or any item that burns are hot enough to start a fire, particularly if kept near blankets, curtains and other fabrics. Double check to ensure all flames are extinguished prior to leaving the room. Consider investing in flameless candles to enjoy the ambiance of candlelight without the risk.
- *Buy stove knob covers or remove the knobs before leaving your house. Stoves look like a lot of fun to pets, and even if they’re clean, those sensitive noses can smell the delicious remnants of what you’ve cooked last. Pets are curious, and a nose bump, hop onto the counter or a lick could easily turn a knob to on. Stove burners left on are one of the leading causes of accidental fires, but very few realize it may not be the people in the house leaving them on. This is also a concern for non-electric stoves, as the same curiosity could cause gas to escape into the home if a knob is turned.
- *Pet-proof your home. Puppies like to chew, and kittens like to play. Any loose or trailing wire could look like a great toy to your new pet, but if the wire is connected to a live charge, it could easily fray and expose both you and your pet to electrical shock, in addition to a possible cause of fire. Taking the time to analyze your pet’s surroundings with fire safety in mind is one of the best steps you can take in pet fire prevention.
Include your Pet in your Emergency Plan
When you set up an emergency plan for your family, don’t forget the furry members. A spare carrier, some extra food, and an extra bottle of water should be stored aside for them. If possible, keep a copy of their recent vaccinations and other important medical information with the rest of your paperwork. (See our video and resources for An Emergency Plan for Your Pets)
When you practice your escape plan, include your pet. Pets are likely to hide or be afraid during a fire. Training your pet to go to an area and into a carrier could help save a lot of time and ensure you all evacuate safely. Remember, though, to never endanger yourself or others attempting to evacuate your pet. If you must leave your pet in the home, you can still help first responders and your pet by telling emergency workers the type of pet you have and their last known location in the house.
Help Firefighters Find Your Pets
You can purchase a Pet Alert cling to stick to the windows of your home. These special clings allow you to write the number and types of pets that you own. By helping firefighters know what to look for if they should have to enter your home, you help increase the odds of your pet being rescued.
When you leave the house, attempt to keep your pets in a central location near an entrance to the home. Shut doors and place food and water in the area. By placing your animals near an entrance, you help ensure that they are easily found.
Pet related fires are tragic, but they are also preventable. Longview Animal Hospital cares about your pet and your family and has a long history of living up to our motto of Friendly Care, Healthy Pets, and Happy Families. We hope that you have enjoyed reading these tips on pet-related fire safety. Please contact us at 903-807-0887 or by email with any questions or concerns about your pet; we’re here to help!