Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, 500,000 pets are affected every year by house fires?
It’s a horrible thought – and certainly not one to forget – but actually, it’s incredibly easy for a cat or a dog to accidentally cause a house fire by turning on the stove or knocking a candle over.
The 15th July 2016 is National Pet Fire Safety Day, an awareness day that was launched by the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services back in 2009 to make pet owners aware of potential fire risks posed by pets.
To celebrate National Pet Fire Safety Day, we’d like to share some advice from the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services that will help you protect your beloved companions from house fires.
Puppies and kittens are extremely curious, so there’s no doubt that they will be up to mischief whilst you’re away. Try to confine your young companion to a crate or a pen when you are out of the house, but be sure to place it near an entrance. Placing them in a confined space will greatly reduce the fire risk, and results in easy access in the event of a blaze.
Never leave your pet unattended around an open flame and make sure you extinguish open flames before you leave the house.
It’s a good idea to practice an escape route with your pet and have leads or carriers accessible in the event of an emergency. You could practice regular fire drills so that your pet becomes familiar with the protocol and understands what to do in case of a fire.
Your pet may try meowing or barking for help when they are home alone in an emergency, but you cannot rely on a neighbour or a passer-by to hear and seek help.
Battery operated alarms may frighten your pet and they won’t alert anyone to a fire if you are not at home. A monitored smoke detector is the best option as they will alert not only you but also a local fire station as soon as possible.
It is easier for firefighters to find and rescue your pet when they are near an entrance, so for safe sakes, keep your pet near an escape route every time you leave your house.
You should also know where your pet’s hiding places are and restrict access to these spaces so they do not run there – a firefighter will not know where your pet’s safe place is and this could result in a delayed rescue.
A static ‘pet alert’ window cling lets firefighters know that pets are inside the house in the event of a fire. You can clearly indicate the number of pets you have in your home which can help save critical time for firefighters.
You can purchase your own ‘pet alert’ window cling from your local pet shop, or you can order one for free via the ASPCA website. We recommend you place the window cling where it is clear and visible, preferably by your front door.
We hope this information helps you protect your pet from the event of a fire.
If you would like further information and advice, please feel free to contact your local Medivet practice – our friendly team will be only too pleased to assist you!
Posted July 8, 2016 in Pet Care Advice