Author: Dr. Clarissa G. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS
Fires are not something we like to think about, but it’s important to pause and make sure we are prepared in case of a fire. While we certainly want to keep human safety at the forefront of our minds, we also want to help our pets as best we can. But did you know that pets are actually the cause of some fires? July 15 (today!) is Pet Fire Safety Day – take a few moments now to make sure you are doing all you can to prevent fires and protect your pets!
Be Prepared Ahead of Time:
Develop an evacuation plan that also includes all your pets.
- Routinely check and verify smoke detectors are working.
- Do not put a glass bowl of water on a wooden porch for your pet – especially on a sunny day as this could cause a fire.
- Place a pet fire rescue sticker on your front door or front window to alert firefighters you have pets. You can request a free pet safety pack that includes these stickers from the ASPCA.
- Put together (or purchase) a pet emergency first aid kit. In addition to first aid supplies, you can also include your pet’s medications and copies of your pet’s medical records and vaccination history. The AVMA has a Pet Evacuation Kit Checklist you can use to help build your first aid kit.
Know What To Do if A Fire Occurs:
- During a fire your pet may be frightened and hide. Be aware of your pet’s typical hiding places so you will be more likely to find them.
- Use leashes or carriers when removing your pet from the home. This is for your safety and the safety of your pet. Fearful animals may bite or scratch or even try and run away.
- If you cannot find your pet and need to exit the house, leave doors open as you leave to give your pet an exit strategy.
Prevent Accidental Fires Caused By Pets:
It is also important to remember that pets can be the accidental source of house fires.
- Keep animals away from burning flames (candles, fireplaces, grills).
- Consider investing in flameless candles.
- Do not allow pets (especially puppies and kittens!) to chew on electrical cords or loose wires.
- Lock / remove stove knobs so that animals do not inadvertently turn the stove on.
Use today – Pet Fire Safety Day – as your prompt to take just a few minutes and walk around the house. Make sure it’s as pet fireproof as it can be. Then, make sure you are prepared and know what to do if a fire does occur.