Help Promote Pet Fire Safety in Your Community – According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires and nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), ADT Security Services, and the American Kennel Club® (AKC) have joined forces for the third year in a row to spread awareness about how to prevent pets from starting home fires and keep pets safe in the event of an emergency during the National Pet Fire Safety Day.
Portland Fire & Rescue, alongside fire agencies across the United States, encourages pet owners to follow the tips below to keep their pets safe from fire and safe from starting a fire:
Prevent your Pet from Starting Fires
- 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.
- Remove stove knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house – a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
- 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. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
- 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 wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.
- Pet proof the home - Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as loose wires and other potential hazards.
Keep Your Pets Safe
- Keep pets near entrances when away from home – When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- 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.
- Practice escape routes with pets – Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.
- Consider using monitored smoke detection services – As an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms, smoke detectors connected to a monitoring center help save pets who can’t escape when left home alone.
Portland Fire & Rescue We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
July 15, 2010