According to the NFPA an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires and nearly 1,000 home fires are accidentally caused by the homeowners' pets!
Here are some tips to help protect your fur-kid from accidentally starting fires and to keep everyone safe in the event of a fire:
Prevent your pet from starting fires:
- 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. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your 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.
- Beware of water bowls on wooden decks - Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.
Keep your pets safe
- Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home - Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, 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.
- Since Pets Left Along Can't Escape a Burning Home - Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
- Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling - Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed.
Other things to consider:
Do you have a pet emergency kit? If you don’t, the ASPCA has recommendations here that can help you work through the process of selecting one.
Do you have a fire escape plan? If you don't, the Red Cross has some tips to help you develop your plan. Click here to learn more.
And last but not least do you know you can provide CPR to your fur-kids if necessary? Click here to learn the basic steps to performing CPR on your pet. Mom will always be grateful to the neighbor who found me in the parking lot on the night of our devastating fire and performed life saving CPR on me. You can learn to provide CPR and First Aid on your pets too! Click here to find a class.
I hope you found the above information helpful! In closing, here is a pic of me a day after the fire and me now. As you can see I have a made a full recovery.
Recovery from fire is possible! Take care pals!