National Pet Fire Safety Day
As the summer heats up, so does the danger of fires. 40,000 pets die each year in fires, and 1,000 pets are responsible for accidentally setting fires. But there are ways to keep both families and pets safe. To raise public awareness of the dangers of fires, National Pet Fire Safety Day is recognized July 15, and began in 2007 by the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services.
Easy steps can be taken to reduce the chances of starting a fire in a home. The easiest one is to check that all open flames are extinguished before leaving a home. This includes candles, cigarette butts, fire places and cooking appliances. There are now flameless candles that have a lightbulb and eliminate the threat of a pet knocking it over. With cooking appliances, all it takes is a brush of the tail or paw for a fire to accidentally start, so consider putting baby proof stove top protectors on, or remove them. Another cooking appliance, the crock pot, needs to be pushed far away from the edge of the counter, or in a corner so that it can’t get knocked over. A glass water bowl can also be a fire hazard for pets, due to the glass heating up from the suns rays and igniting the wood on a deck. Stainless steel and ceramic bowls work much better. All cords need to be tucked away to keep pets from chewing on them, and baby gates can keep pets away from dangerous areas in the home.
All these steps can be taken but a fire could still happen, which means that pet parents need to be prepared. This includes making an emergency kit that includes a leash, food, water bottle, bowls and any necessary medications placed near an exit. This will come in handy if a family has to make a quick exit, and even better, place a leash by the door so that firefighters can rescue the pet more quickly. If a pet is usually kept confined in a room, leave them in a room near an entry door so firefighters can find them easily, or a pet door can even be installed. Pets also need to have proper identification, because in the confusion of fire, smoke and strangers entering the home, they may flee. For an extra level of security, pet parents can purchase a monitor smoke detector, which contacts emergency responders when no one is at home. Pet alert window clings are a must, which detail what kind and how many pets are in the household. Make sure to keep the cling updated if a new pet is added to the household.
In partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council, pet owners can get a free window cling on National Pet Fire Safety Day, at local volunteer firehouses nationwide.