National Pet Fire Safety Day
July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day, a day dedicated to educating pet owners on the possible risks of leaving pets home alone and spreading awareness of fire prevention and rescue plans to ensure their safety.
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 500,000 pets are affected each year by home fires. They have found that nearly 1,000 house fires are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets annually.
On this National Pet Fire Safety Day, spend a few moments assessing your home’s risk and review your fire emergency response plan to keep everyone safe and prepared.
Many pet owners have taken some measures to pet proof their homes, but it is important to also spot out areas where pets may accidentally start a fire. Put covers over stove knobs (or remove the knobs, if possible) and discourage climbing in the kitchen. Secure loose wires and cords to prevent chewing and possible electrical fire hazards. Curious pets may investigate candles or fireplaces. Make sure pets are not around open flames, opting for flameless candles or enclosed fireplaces. Extinguish any open flames before leaving your home. When leaving pets home alone, make sure they are in a secure location away from fire hazards. It is important that this area is close to your home’s entrance where firefighters can easily find them in the case of an emergency when you are away.
Fire Emergency Response Plan
To alert firefighters that pets are in the home, use a window cling to state the number and type of pets and attach to a front window. Create and practice emergency plans often, including your pet in the drills. Make sure everyone in the household knows their assigned role, including who is responsible for bringing the pet and their leash or carrier out to safety. In the case of a fire, pets may try to run away, so it is important to keep them safe and secure with a leash or carrier. If you cannot quickly locate your pet in the event of a fire, it is important to get yourself to safety. Do not put yourself or family in danger to rescue your pet. Leave the door open and call for your pet once you are outside and a safe distance from the home. Once first responders arrive, alert them that pets are still inside so they can continue the search.
Planning for unexpected emergencies can make a huge difference in protecting the safety of your family, pets, and home.