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8 Tips for Fire Safety with Pets

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Did you know that pets — mostly dogs and cats — start over 1000 house fires every year? Fire Prevention Week is right around the corner (October 8-14), so here are some important tips to ensure you and your furbabies are fire safe!

  1. Extinguish open flames — Pets are curious about flames and can be attracted to candles, lanterns, stoves and open fires like the fireplace or barbeque. Supervise your animals closely when open flames are present, use fireplace screens, and turn lanterns and stoves off when you cannot supervise. If you design a new kitchen, move the cooktop off the center island. Agile dogs and cats have been found checking out the center island for treats.
  2. Remove or protect stove knobs — Pets accidentally turning on stove knobs is the leading reason for pet started house fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Remove or protect stove knobs from activation while you are away. When you choose a new stove, look for one where the controls are not on the front of the unit.
  3. Use flameless candles — Although not as aromatic as regular candles, the light bulbs in flameless candles are unlikely to start a fire if knocked over by your pet. In addition, some scented candles produce fumes toxic to birds.
  4. Inspect and pet proof — Be aware of electrical cords, appliances, and other hazards within your pets’ reach. Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small mammals may chew wires and cause fires and other electrical problems. A lamp knocked onto a bed by a cat has been known to cause a fire.
  5. Confine young pets — Puppies and kittens are notoriously curious and capable of finding trouble. Confining them to crates or pens while you are away will help reduce the risk of them causing a fire. The confined area should be near an entrance for easy access in case of fire.
  6. Pet Alert window clings — These static clings alert firefighters that pets are inside. Indicating the number of pets on these clings can help save critical time for firefighters. Window clings are available online from the ASPCA and for purchase in our store. They should be placed so they are readily seen by firefighters.
  7. Plan an escape route — Plan a safe escape route and have leashes and carriers easily accessible. Practice fire drills so your pet is familiar with the routine in case of fire. Pet friendly work places should also have a designated escape plan for workers and their pets, and also should perform routine fire drills so the plan is familiar to both workers and pets.
  8. Outdoor pets — Housing and pens for outside animals should be located clear of brush, bushes, or other vegetation that could act as fuel for a fire. Outdoor pets should wear or have implanted identification in case they flee your yard or property during a fire.