Dogs are curious creatures that can get into trouble when left to their own devices. I remember puppy proofing my apartment before Laly came home. While I made sure harmful substances were out of reach, I never gave thought to fire safety. Take a time out on National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15) to keep your dog safe from home fires. For the past three years the American Kennel Club along with the National Volunteer Fire Council and ADT Security Services have teamed up to spread awareness about pet fire safety and give you prevention tips.
Prevent your pet from starting fires
1. Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
2. Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
3. Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle.
4. Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the deck. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.
Keep your pets safe
1. Keep pets near entrances when away from home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
2. Secure young pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
3. Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
4. Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window or door.