Prevent your pet from starting fires? Yes, there are tips!

Today is the third annual National Pet Fire Safety Day and we just couldn’t let it go unrecognized. Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to and also the most preventable. According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.

The best way for to protect pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. As Cricket our doggie blogger has said many times, it’s never too late to create a disaster plan for your pet. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Take your pet to a safe place.

2. Assemble a portable pet disaster supplies kit.

3. Prevent your pet from starting fires.

This last one is a new tip for our blog readers. While it might sound far-fetched the National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets. Our thanks go to the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services who have joined forces to provide the following tips to prevent your pets from starting a fire.

  • 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 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.

  • 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; 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.

  • Affix a pet alert window cling and 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 keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

    Happy National Pet Fire Safety Day!

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