National Pet Fire Safety Day

Did you know each year an estimated 40,000 pets die in fires and nearly 1,000 home fires are accidentally started by pets?  To promote pet fire safety, the American Kennel Club (AKC) and ADT Security Services joined forces in 2009 to raise awareness and designate July 15 as National Pet Fire Safety Day.   

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Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires

Here are some tips to consider for your home fire safety plan to include your pets:

Extinguish Open Flames — Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Do not leave pets unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home. Always use a metal or tempered-glass screen on a fireplace and keep it in place.

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Pet Proof Your Home — Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might inadvertently start fires, such as stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards. Keep pets away from candles, lamps, and space heaters. Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house.

Secure Young Pets — Keep young pets confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home, either in pet crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Create an Emergency & Evacuation Plan

Install Smoke Detectors — Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and test them at least once a month. Since pets can’t escape on their own, use a monitored smoke detector system connected to a monitoring center. If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Never go back inside if your pet is trapped.

Practice Escape Routes with Pets — Keep collars and leashes readily available in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.

Keep Pets Near Entrances — When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.

Display a Pet Alert Decal — Install a pet alert/emergency rescue decal in a front window near the entrance of your home and write in the number and type of pets. This critical information will save rescuers valuable time when trying to locate your pets.

Free Pet Safety Pack

Free Pet Safety Packs (including an emergency rescue decal) can be ordered from the ASPCA using the following link: https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack

Editor’s Note: Information for this blog post gathered from public information provided by National Pet Fire Safety Day, sponsored by AKC and ADT Security Services; National Fire Protection Association; ASPCA; and American Red Cross.