July 15th – Pet Fire Safety Day!

06 Jul July 15th – Pet Fire Safety Day!

As we approach the middle of July and summer activities are underway, many of us are doing whatever we can to enjoy the beautiful weather with our pets. While the pool, cold drinks, and relaxing may be on your mind, let’s dedicate a few moments to our pets by recognizing Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15th. Originally sponsored by ADT Security Services and The American Kennel Club (AKC), the purpose of this day is to shed light on ways that our pets can start home fires accidentally, and teach preventative measures on how to stop these fires from happening. Read on for lots of handy tips and tricks!

Make plans for emergencies in advance

Making plans before an emergency happens is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of your family and pets in the event that a home fire occurs. Some ideas are to:

  • Include your pets in your family evacuation plan, including having a safe zone area already picked out
  • Purchase or put together a pet disaster supply kit that can be easily transported
  • Scout out a safe location where your pets can be taken in case of emergency such as a neighbor, friend or relative’s home, or even a boarding kennel
  • Practice evacuating with both your family and your pets, which may include involve supplemental training for your pet to go with you
  • Check to make sure that your smoke alarms are working each month
  • Locate the nearest emergency animal hospital in case your pet gets injured

Steps to take in the event of a home fire

While the last thing we want to think about is a fire actually happening, following these steps and sticking to the evacuation plan will be invaluable in the event of a disaster.

  • It is best to evacuate pets along with your family if you are able
  • During pet evacuation, be sure to use a leash for dogs or a carrier for cats to prevent them from running off and getting lost if they get spooked by the crisis around them
  • However, do not risk pet evacuation if it involves endangering yourself or your family, or significantly delaying your evacuation
  • If unable to evacuate your pet with the family, get to the safe zone first, then share with firefighters that you still have a pet(s) in the home that need rescued

Home fires can also happen when we are not at home. Here are a few additional tips to make rescuing your pets easier by emergency personnel:

  • If possible, keep pets near rooms or areas near the entrance to your home or apartment when you are away so they are easier to locate
  • Along with your pets, try to keep any collars and leashes in plain sight and nearby the entrance for easy access
  • There are many pet window sticker/cling options that identify you have pets in the home that would need rescued in the event of a fire. These often include the type of pet (dog, cat, etc) and number of each. This can greatly help emergency responders cut down time on their search and verify they have rescued all pets present in the home

Ways to prevent pets from causing fires

Just like pets do not realize they are chewing on your most expensive pair of shoes, they do not realize the potentially dangerous implications from their curiosity. Below are a few things to keep in mind to reduce the risk of pets causing a fire in your home:

  • Safely store stove knobs or use covers when away from home
  • Keep animals away from space heaters, lamps, electrical cords etc.
  • Bundle or hide electrical cords within reach
  • Try your best to prevent animals from climbing onto the stove or countertops
  • Remain in the kitchen area when cooking
  • Put away all cooking equipment after use
  • Avoid placing items (like dog beds) close to the fireplace
  • Consider crating pets or confining them to a pet-safe room
  • Avoid placing glass water bowls on wooden decks
  • Always use caution with candles! Safely store candles when not in use, keep them out of reach, and never leave a candle unattended with a pet roaming around. Consider using a flameless variety, especially with cats.

For many, pets are considered a part of the family and play a role in our daily lives. Pet Fire Safety Day encourages us to prepare for and prevent possible fires so we can keep the whole family safe!