Most people have a plan of action in place to help them escape in the event of a fire in the home. However, there’s one aspect of fire safety that many people overlook – pets.
40,000 pets are killed in home fires each year and, although fires can begin for a number of reasons, sometimes they can be caused by pets themselves.
With the majority of pet owners saying that they’d risk their lives to save their furry friends, it makes sense to do everything you can to factor your pet into your home fire safety plan. By doing so, not only can you minimise the likelihood of your pet starting a fire, if an emergency was to happen, you can increase everyone’s chances of escaping safely.
Since National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15th) is just a few weeks away, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to provide you with some key tips to take into account when making your own fire safety plan:
- Make sure smoke alarms are functioning properly.
- Be mindful of your pet’s presence if they’re in the kitchen while you’re cooking.
- Never leave pets alone around an open flame. A pet could easily become startled and knock over a candle or lantern.
- Keep hazards such as flammable items or electrical wires out of your pet’s reach.
- If you leave your pet in the kitchen while you’re out of the house, make sure there’s no way they could turn on the stove. If you can remove the knobs before leaving the house, do so.
- When leaving your pet alone in the home, keep them in a room near an entrance so that fire fighters can rescue them easily.
- Some pet owners choose to display a pet rescue sign on the window to their home. This means that, if they aren’t home when a fire breaks out, fire fighters know that a pet may need to be rescued, even if no humans are home.
In the event of a fire
- If there is a fire, never go back into your home to save your pet. Instead, tell fire fighters about your pet as soon as they arrive.
- Pets sometimes run away when a fire occurs. Make sure your pet always wears a collar with up-to-date contact information on it at all times. You could also have your pet micro chipped.
Pets and children
- Call a family meeting to discuss what everyone should do in the event of a fire.
- Warn your children that, if there’s ever a fire, they must not look for your pets – they should focus on getting outside instead.