According to the American Fire Administration, approximately half a million pets are affected by house fires every year. As part of our families, it’s important we know how to keep our pets safe from fire dangers—and how to keep them from accidentally starting those blazes as well.
Only YOU Can Prevent Your Pet’s Fires
- Keep pets away from lit candles. Animals are drawn to flickering flames and besides the risk of being burned, they can start a house fire if they accidentally knock the candle over. Never leave a lit candle unattended.
- Be careful with space heaters and halogen lamps, which can be easily knocked over by a pet and cause rugs and furniture to catch fire.
- Watch those dangling electrical cords! Cats love to bat them around and they can strangle or electrocute your pet, especially if chewed upon. Damaged cords should be replaced right away since they are a fire hazard all on their own.
Stay Prepared for Pet’s Sake
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your whole family—including your pet—is less at risk:
- Invest in monitored smoke detectors. Since pets are often home alone, the best way to protect them is to have the type of detectors that are connected to a monitoring center. If a fire develops, the monitoring center will automatically notify the fire department.
- Post stickers on your door or front window alerting firefighters that there are pets inside. These stickers could save your pet’s life if you’re not home.
- Do you have an evacuation plan for your family? If so, make sure it includes a plan for your pets, and that you keep leashes, pet carriers, and treats by an exit.
- See that your pets are microchipped and wearing identification. Pets can become frightened and run off during a fire or any emergency. Making sure your pet has a microchip that is registered with up-to-date ownership information will greatly increase the chances he or she will be returned to you.
While there’s no way to prevent or predict every emergency, being prepared will help minimize the risk and increase the chances for a safe outcome for those you love.