National Pet Fire Safety Day takes place every year on July 15, and it’s a great time to learn how to keep your pet safe from fire! Not only are pets affected by house fires, but did you know that close to 750 fires per year are caused by pets?
Here are some steps you can take to help keep your pets safe from fire (from the American Humane Society):
PREVENTING A FIRE
- Reduce open flame exposures – Pets are curious and may try to investigate unattended candles or fireplaces.
- Put covers on or remove stove knobs and discourage climbing in the kitchen – An accidental nudge of a stove knob is the number one cause of house fires started by pets.
- Have a “pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet away from stoves, heaters, and fireplaces.
- Secure loose wires – Pets may like to chew on wires and cords, keep these items are out of reach from your pet, as they can lead to fires.
- Never put a glass bowl on a wooden porch or deck – The sun’s rays can heat the bowl and cause a fire on the wooden surface.
PREPARING FOR A FIRE
- Include your pet in your family emergency plan and practice taking your pets with you.
- Make sure your pet’s updated contact information is reflected on their ID collar and in the microchip database.
- Know your pet’s hideaways and create ways for easy access to them in case of an emergency.
- Keep your pets near your home’s entrances when you are away from home.
DURING A FIRE
- Attempt to grab your pet and exit the home as quickly as possible, but if it takes too long to locate or secure them, leave!
- If you can’t find your pet, leave!
- Never go back inside a burning house!
- Let firefighters take over the task of locating your pet.
PETS AND WILDFIRES
- Make sure your pets are included in your family’s wildfire evacuation plans.
- Build an evacuation kit for each pet in your household. Ensure each kit is a size and weight that can be quickly and easily loaded into a vehicle when packing to evacuate.
- Visit the NFPA’s website to download their household pet evacuation kit.
And, make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home!