July 15th is Pet Fire Safety Day, so we are going to give you and your family some tips to keep your pets safe in the event of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association has estimated that nearly 1,000 home fires are started each year by pets. The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:
- 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 Stove Knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house – a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in a 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.
- Secure Young Pets – keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
You will also want to have your pets’ kenneled near the front door, or in the open where firefighters can easily access them. Have collars on your pets and leashes near the entrance to your home. Every family should have an evacuation plan prepared, and practiced, in the event of a fire. Include your pets in the plan, and practice with them. Make sure they come when called. Place a decal near the front door that states how many, and what species of pets are in the home. The ASPCA will send you a FREE window decal from their website at www.aspca.org/. Mine took about 4 weeks for delivery. Have cages and carriers in one location that you can easily grab on your way out. It will be chaotic outside, and pets should be confined to prevent escape or accidental injury. If you cannot find your pet, never return to a burning building, leave the door open and call for them repeatedly. Let firefighters take over, and safely look for any missing pets.