national_pet_fire_safety_dayWhen you think about your pets and fire safety, your mind probably goes straight to that protective pet owner place of fear and anxiety.  But, did you know that nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by pets?  Your dog might be one of those who loves to steal food off your counter when he thinks no one is watching or your cat might walk a little too close to that scented candle and suddenly, flames have engulfed your home.  Even if your pets would never do either of these behaviors, you might be worried about a fire starting without their help.  The American Kennel Club joined forces with ADT Security to raise awareness about preventing these issues during National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15th.

Fires start for all different reasons, but what can you do to keep your pets from starting one in your home?  The AKC and ADT have some tips to lower your risk:

Prevent your pet from starting fires

  • Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead

Like any other pet owner, you’re probably worried about fires that start in your home.  What can you do to minimize the risk for your pets?  The AKC and ADT have some tips to protect your pet during house fires:

Keep your pets safe

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

If you need a Pet Alert Window Cling, stop by our office for a free one.  And if your pet is involved in a fire, please give us a call at 301-258-0333 immediately.  Even if your pet appears to be OK, it’s always a good idea to have him checked.