Plan how to keep your pet safe in the event of a fire.
Did you know that as many as half a million pets are affected by house fires every year?* That’s why the American Kennel Club founded National Pet Fire Safety Day to generate awareness of how pets can be affected by fires, but also how pets inadvertently cause fires nearly 1,000 times a year.**
Protecting your pet in case of a house fire.
Let’s start by taking a look at how you can help keep your pet safe by following these steps:
- Place a pet alert window sticker on a front door or window that alerts firefighters as to the number of pets you have in the home. It will help rescue workers know to search for your pets, as well as how many they need to search for. These stickers are available at most pet stores and shelters, and are free at many fire stations on National Pet Fire Safety Day July 15.
- Develop an exit plan and practice it routinely. Running through the plan repeatedly will help your family be better able to act calmly and with purpose if a fire does occur. Working out a plan will also alert you to any issues that you may not have thought about needing to address in case of an emergency.
- Determine which family member is responsible for getting each pet out of the house.
- Know your pets’ favorite hiding places, because this is likely the first place they will go during a fire.
- Provide your pets with a pet door they can use to escape a house fire if you are not home. If your pet needs to be kept in a cage or kennel box while you are out, keep it somewhere near a door so firefighters can find it more easily.
- Be sure to grab your pet’s carrier when you evacuate the house. It’s a place where most animals feel more safe, which will be extremely helpful during the noise and chaos of a fire and rescue operation.
- If a home fire occurs, you may need to go to a shelter or hotel in the aftermath. Ask a friend or family member in advance if they can will keep your pet for a few days for you in the event of such an emergency.
Preventing your pet from starting a fire.
While pets can be the victims of house fires, they can also accidentally cause them. Many of these unintentional fires can be prevented by practicing the following safety measures outlined by the AKC and ADT Security Services:
- Don’t leave open flames unattended. Pets are naturally curious, so if you leave a fire burning in the fireplace, a candle unattended, or a stove burner on, you may be inviting trouble. Be attentive to candles and other sources of flame in your home, and be sure to extinguish them before leaving the house.
- Buy flameless candles. Flameless candles are available that operate on light bulbs rather than open flames. Dogs (especially those with long bushy tails) can start fires if their tails overturn a lit candle. Flameless candles remove that risk.
- Remove stove knobs. Before leaving the house, remove your stove burner knobs or add protective covers. According to the National Fire Protection Associations, stoves and cooktops are the number one way pets inadvertently start house fires.
- Keep puppies confined when you’re gone. Keeping a puppy in a crate or in a secured area behind a baby gate can keep them away from potential fire-starting hazards when you’re away.
National Pet Fire Safety Day is the perfect time to develop a lifelong plan that will keep your pet safe from fires, and safe from accidentally setting them—all of which can assure that you and your best friend enjoy a happier, healthier life together. And, at Bil-Jac, we couldn’t wish for anything more!
*Source: United States Fire Administration
**Source: National Fire Protection Association
Do you have an idea for helping keep your pet safe from setting or being hurt by a house fire? Please share them with us below!