Hey, fellow pet lovers!
Today’s blog post is all about National Pet Fire Safety Day which took place yesterday. I’m going to talk a little bit about how this day came to be, who founded it and a few different ways you can prevent your pet from starting a house fire and getting hurt.
Let’s jump straight into today’s short and simple post!
National Pet Fire Safety Day, 2019
What is Pet Fire Safety Day?
National Pet Fire Safety Day has been around for a little while now and is an annual event founded by The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) and ADT Security Services. This is the third annual Pet Fire Safety Day and the aim of this day is to help pet parents realise that their canine and feline companions can actually be the cause of a devastating house fire. Both organisations want to help decrease the chances of this happening so created this important day to raise awareness about a few simple precautions pet owners can take to prevent this from happening.
How to prevent your pet from starting fires?
House fires are a very common occurrence, in fact, in the USA every 24 seconds a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation, in 2017 there were a whopping 1,319,500 fires that year. Resulting in 3,400 deaths, an increase of 9.6% from the following year, 14,670 injuries a decrease of 15.8% from the following year and a total loss of $23 billion dollars. As for the UK, I came across a fire and rescue incident statistics report for the year ending December 2018. Within the report, it stated that 576, 586 incidents were attended by FRSs (Fire & Rescue Services), which saw a 2% increase in comparison to the previous year’s figures (565,777). To read the full report simply follow the link, Home Office Fire and Rescue Incident Statistics 2018.
Now you know the statistics you wouldn’t think that your innocent four-legged friend could be the culprit, right? However, this is certainly sometimes the case. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 1,000 house fires are accidentally caused by our canine and feline friends each year. I’d never even thought about our pets ability to cause a house fire until stumbling upon these statistics. It’s estimated that 500,000 companion animals are affected each year by fires and 40,000 of those pets die each year, mostly due to smoke inhalation. However, most of you right now are probably thinking how can my pet even start a house fire? Well, there are a few easy ways and it’s up to you to ensure that you take the correct precautions to limit the chances of your pet of dying in a house fire and destroying your family home.
So how do our pets cause house fires?
There are a few different ways that our pets cause house fires every year but the most common cause is due to stovetops. If you have a canine or feline friend then you will be very aware of how greedy they can be, in fact, my girl Pooss only last week stole my last slice of margarita pizza out the box and dragged it out onto the kitchen floor. If you leave food out and your pet is food motivated then the chances of them trying to jump or climb to reach that food is pretty high. When this happens and if the food is placed on top of your cooker/stove they may accidentally hit the knobs and turn on the gas, resulting in a fire. Check out the short video below to see what I’m talking about.
As you can see above its super easy for your canine friend to start a house fire if left alone with access to the kitchen. Thankfully, my girls are left in the living room when we go out with all electrics turned off and the fire alarm waiting patiently if needed. However, I was so shocked when I first saw this video as I’d never thought about this simple way our pets can start a house fire.
However, it isn’t just stovetops that our pets can cause potentially devastating house fires with as candles are also something we must make sure to keep a close eye on at all times. It is so easy for a cat or dog to wag their tail next to a candle, briefly burn themselves then overturn the candle resulting in a house fire. The last potential danger to talk about is heaters, a space heater is a heater that is used to heat a small space and is powered by electricity or a burnable fuel such as propane, fuel oil or wood pellets.
These heaters are a very common cause of house fires globally and it’s very easy for a pet to cause a house fire by dragging their bed or flush toys close to a space heater and ultimately leading to a house fire. These are just a few of the many ways our pets can cause house fires, it is so essential that you take the necessary precautions that I’m going to list below to reduce yours and your pets chances of dying in a house fire.
How to help keep your pet safe?
Thankfully, there are various precautions that you should always take to help limit the chances of your canine or feline friend starting a house fire, simply read the list below to help keep your family, pets and home safe.
1, Remove the knobs from your stovetop or purchase protective covers.
As we’ve seen above it is so easy for your canine friend to try and get food from your stovetop and potentially start a fire. So one of the best ways to prevent a fire from taking place is to remove your knobs from your cooker. Alternatively, you can also get covers to put over them if you’d rather do that.
2, Don’t leave food on your stove/cooker.
Another easy prevention tip is to simply ensure you don’t leave any food on top of your cooker as this decreases the chances of your pet starting a fire by knocking the cooker knobs.
3, Have an adequate amount of fire alarms.
If you have a large home then you’ll most likely need more than one fire alarm within your home. We live in a small flat so have one fire alarm situated within our passage to alert us if there’s ever a fire. We also have two large fire extinguishers in our downstairs passage so we’re definitely prepared for a fire but hopefully, we won’t ever have to use them. Make sure you have the right amount of fire alarms dotted around your property to alert you or nearby neighbours if a fire does break out, that way the fire brigade can be called and everyone can get out the house safely.
4, Use monitored smoke detectors to protect your pets when home alone.
I’d never heard of monitored smoke alarms until writing today’s blog post but they seem like an amazing idea that could save the lives of your pets and help prevent your home from burning down. A monitored smoke alarm is what it sounds like, it’s connected to a monitoring centre which allows emergency services to be contacted and sent to your home when you’re not there. Resulting in far more protection than your average smoke alarm!
5, Secure young puppies, or older pets in a crate or secure area.
It is so essential that you keep your puppy or dog in an adequate crate if they misbehave, or are not good left home alone and may be inclined to hop up onto your stove or cooker top. To learn more about the benefits of using a crate then check out one of my previous posts, The benefits of having a dog crate.
6, When your pets are left home alone place them close to the main exit in your home.
Both my girls get left in the living room when we’re out as they are well behaved and thankfully, never destroy anything. However, they are only one door away from our front door and this would hopefully, result in them getting out quickly if there was a fire.
7, Keep leads, collars and harnesses close to the front door.
One of the tips I came across which made perfect sense was to keep a collar on your pet when you’re out so emergency services can easily grab your canine or feline friend and get them out the house. However, I’m not a fan of leaving collars on our pets as I’ve read a few stories of those collars getting caught in something and the pet horrifically choaking to death. So instead, I thought I’d be a good idea to place a few cheap slip leads next to your front door so if emergency services were called using your monitoring fire alarm, they could easily stick a lead around your pet since they are already contained in safe space close to an exit point.
8, Lastly, attach a securely fixed cling sticker to your porch, window or door.
The last tip is super important and it is also incredibly simple. All it is is to securely attach a cling sticker which is a thing vinyl film that clings to various surfaces. Get one made that states how many pets you live with as this will help to inform emergency services how many pets are inside your home, so they know when to stop looking and they’ve safely removed all your pets from your home.
Thanks for reading today’s post and I hope you implement some of the precautions listed above in your home if you haven’t already, to help keep your family and four-legged friends safe. If you enjoyed today’s post then let me know by hitting that like button, or giving it a share and remember if you have any post suggestions be sure to drop me an email by heading over to our contact page and as always, have a wonderful week!
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