Last Thursday was National Pet Fire Safety Day. A house fire has always been one of my greatest fears so when the AKC put out their tips on avoiding this potential tragedy I was shocked to learn that almost 1,000 house fires last year were actually started by the family pets themselves. Some of the pet fire safety tips the AKC gave were obvious to me, but others were more subtle. Planning for the unexpected tragedy is an integral part of responsible pet ownership.

How to prevent your pet from starting fires

Extinguish open flames – Curious by nature, pets will often investigate candles or stovetops. Never leave an open flame, such as a candle or gas stove, unattended and be sure to double check that all flames have been put out before leaving your home.

Invest in stove knob covers – A stove is the number one cause in pet related fires. Consider buying knob covers for your stove, or remove them altogether when you leave the house.

Love candles? Go flameless – Flameless candles often create the same atmosphere as a regular candle, but with less risk. Don’t let kitty burn her tail on an open flame candle, try flameless candles that use small light bulbs to generate the flickering visual.

Confine dangerous pups – Consider confining curious young puppies or destructive dogs away from potential fire-starting hazards while you’re away using crates or baby gates.

Replace the glass water bowl – If you use glass water bowls avoid leaving them outside or on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays are surprisingly powerful and can ignite materials under or around the glass bowls. Use stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

How to keep your pet safer in an emergency

Collars and leashes at the ready – Keep your pet’s collars on them and keep leashes near the door in case firefighters need to rescue your pet from a dangerous situation while you are away.

Confine pets to areas near entrances – When you’re leaving your pets home alone consider leaving them confined in areas or rooms near an entrance, and make sure to mark it on your fire safety cling.

Monitored smoke detectors – Invest in a monitoring system that alerts emergency personnel when a fire has been detected and no one is home.

Fire Safety ClingPet window clings – Write down how many and what type of pets are in your home on the cling and attach it to a window at the front of your house. Make sure it’s visible! Include any information that may help responders find your pets, like where they prefer to hide or where the dog is confined. Update it the number of pets you have as soon as a change occurs.  You can request a free pet safety window cling on ADT’s website.

Often times no one wants to plan for the worst, but prevention and planning are your best bets when you’re trying to save your best friend. What other steps do you take to avoid fire disasters? Feel free to add tips in the comments below.

 

Original souce: http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4152

Photo originally posted by alex_lee2001 on flickr.com