The BEST way to protect your pet is to have a plan and a disaster kit ready. Always practice with your pet and make sure they know to come when called. Around 500,000 pets are affected by home fires and nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by homeowner’s pets.
Tips to help your pet from starting a fire:
- Extinguish open flames: do not leave any sort of open flames unattended especially candles.
- Remove/cover stove knobs: pets can jump up and accidentally turn burners on with their feet or even their nose.
- Invest in flameless candles: animals get very curious around flames and their little tails can easily knock them over.
- Use caution with glass water bowls: Sometimes if a clear water bowl is placed outside on a wooden deck in the direct sunlight, the sunlight can actually warm up the wood below and cause a fire.
- Always secure pets: make sure to keeps pets in a cage or behind a baby gate when not being watched.
Tips to be prepared in case a fire would happen:
- Have an escape plan: make sure to include your pets in the plan
- Have a leash/carrier: make sure to have them in the planned escape routes and easily accessible to grab on the way.
- Know their hiding places: know where your pets generally go when they are scared to know where to look for them quickly if needed.
- Have fire drills: make sure to practice with your pets, go over basic commands like come and stay.
- Secure pet during danger: pets often aren’t fans of loud noise or a lot of people and most likely during an emergency, there will be a lot of both so make sure to have a leash or carrier to keep them secure.
- Have an animal emergency kit: have food, dishes, water, meds anything that would help just in case and have it easily accessible in your escape plan.
- Place to stay: talk to family members or even neighbors that your pet could stay with in case of an emergency.
- Dog House: if you have a dog house outside try to make sure that it isn’t right next to your house and free of trees or other flammable objects. That way if your pet would hide in there they would be safe.
- Pets alone: try to leave pets in crates by the front door so that if a firefighter comes in they can find them easily and quickly.
- Consider Monitor Smoke Detectors: pets can’t escape burning house on their own it may be a good idea to use a monitored smoke detector that is connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders will be contacted even if you aren’t home.
- Affix Pet Alert: they are window clings that you can write the number of pets and what kind of pets that are in your house so that firefighters know what they are looking for and are aware.
- First Aid Kit: it’s a good idea to have on hand especially in an emergency situation, you can purchase them at local pet stores or you can talk to your Veterinarian to check what they would recommend having in them for your pets.