Fire safety for pets is an important part of animal ownership. Home fires are extremely common. In fact, the American Red Cross responds to this type of disaster more than any other kind of incident. It’s too bad because home fires are also the most preventable kind of accident. The best way to shield your pets from a home fire is to stop them from happening in the first place, include them in your family plan and have supplies on hand in case you need to make a fast exit.
Keep Your Pets From Starting Fires
Follow these tips to keep your pets from starting fires, whether you are home or not:
Don’t leave pets unattended around open flames. Not all pets know instinctively to stay away from fire, including candles and fireplaces. Keep a close eye on pets if they’re around open flames. And make sure to extinguish all fires once you can’t watch them at all times.
Secure pets. If you aren’t sure you can keep a constant eye on your cat or dog, you might just want to confine them to a different room or the backyard.
Remove knobs on your stove. This step isn’t quite so intuitive than not leaving your pet around candles and other open flames. Pets are also prone to bumping into knobs and accidentally turning them on. This is why you need to remove them or protect them with special covers. And obviously always double-check that you turn off your stove and oven before you leave the house.
Look into flameless alternatives. Flameless candles and fireplaces are an easy way to avoid the open flame issue entirely.
Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario
Keep dogs and cats near exits when you’re away from home. Also leave collars on pets and leashes near the door. This will make it easier for first responders to retrieve your pet in the event of an emergency.
Put pet rescue stickers or clings near entrances to your home, such as windows and doors. Be sure to note on it the total number of pets you have and whether they’re cats, dogs or other animals.
Form a family evacuation plan for the whole family. Include a meeting place in case you can’t reach each other. Include a place where you can stay that is animal-friendly. Practice evacuating your home with your pets. Also prepare a “go bag” with a week’s worth of pet supplies and your pet’s microchip and medical records.