According to the American Fire Administration, approximately half a million pets are affected by house fires every year—and about 1000 of those fires are started by the pets themselves. It’s important as a pet parent to know how to keep your pets safe from fire danger—and from accidentally triggering those blazes as well.
- 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.
- Put covers on or remove stove knobs and discourage climbing in the kitchen. An accidental nudge of a stove knob is the number one cause of house fires started by pets.
- 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.
- Invest in monitored smoke detectors. 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 near an exit. Note where your pets like to nap or hide so you can locate them quickly.
- 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. If you’d like to make an appointment to get your pet “chipped” or have more questions about fire safety, give us a call at (703) 956-1522.