On average, half a million pets are affected by house fires every year, and 1,000 of those are started by the pets themselves. Most of the time, owners do not realize that your pet could start fires, however it can happen very quickly and easily. We want to make sure you pet proof your house to make sure this does not happen to you.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) and ADT Security Service wanted to bring awareness to this issue and are trying to remind people what they can do to prevent fires caused by their pets.
Here are some tips the AKC and ADT suggest:
- Never leave your pets unsupervised around open flames. Before you leave the house make sure all your candles, fireplaces and cook ware is extinguished and turned off.
- Cats and big dogs have easy access to your stove knobs. You can remove the knobs to ensure your stove stays turned off.
- Try investing in flameless candles! This way if you forget to turn them off, there is no danger to your pets or your home. Cats easily start fires because of their busy tails.
- A very important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to leave a glass water bowl on a wooden deck. The sun rays can heat up the glass and the water, which in turn can ignite the wooden deck. Stainless steel or ceramic are a much better option.
A few tips on keeping your pets safe when they are alone at home:
- Let your pets have access to all doors when you aren’t home. In case of a fire they are able to escape quickly when help arrives.
- Puppies are best kept in crates when they are young, this way they cannot get into any hazardous areas. Baby gates are a great investment if you want to keep them out of a certain area. Still make sure to keep the crate close to easily accessible doors.
- Monitored smoke detectors may be a great investment, this way emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home.
- To make sure rescuers know that your pets are in the house, you may want to get a window cling that informs people who is in the house. Always make sure to keep it up to date! Local volunteer firehouses will give away free window clings on July 15th to bring more awareness to society and inform people of the potential risks when leaving your pets at home.
Following these few steps can help keep your house protected and at lower risk of unexpected fires and emergencies. Make sure to inform your family about the importance of these steps and to remember to check the house before you step outside for the day!