Pet Fire Safety
By: Misa Nash Edited by: Alex Adaway
It’s FINALLY cold enough for the heaters, and it is important to consider the safety issues associated with them. More than 500,000 pets are affected by house fires, yearly. When creating household fire preparedness plans, we can be unsure of where to fit our pets into the escape routes. With these tips and tricks, you will be able to plan a route that gets ALL of your family members to safety.
The first step for fire preparedness is prevention. Do not to leave open flames unattended, such as candles. Pets do not always have the instinct to stay away from fire, and a flickering flame may look like a toy, especially to a cat. Pets may be drawn to the warmth of a candle and could potentially knock it over, catching fire to themselves or their surroundings. Stoves and hot plates are the primary cause of house fires, many of which are started by pets. Removing the knobs from the stove or hot plate can prevent the pet from accidentally turning on a heating element or igniting a flame. Unplugging any unnecessary appliances can also help prevent the possibility of electrical fires. Securing your pet in a kennel or even one room of your home, can ensure pets do not have access to potential fire hazards, and makes the pet more easily accessible in the case of an emergency.
Creating an escape route can be a daunting task, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your household. Including your pets in an emergency escape plan is not something that is often discussed. It is important to get yourself to safety and exit your home immediately, and if your pets are still inside, DO NOT GO BACK INSIDE. Let the professionals do the rescuing. However, placing your pets, especially in kennels, near the emergency exits gives you and your family members a chance to grab them on your way out. Assigning a pet to a family member can also be beneficial. Most importantly, PRACTICE YOUR EMERGENCY plans, which can expose any problems that may occur.
Having an emergency pet kit can also help in a crisis. Kits can include medical papers, leashes, toys, blankets, litter, food, and water. Make sure your pet always has proper identification. Applying emergency alert stickers around your home can help notify firefighters of the number and types of pets you have in your home.
Remember, your main focus is to get YOURSELF out of your home, but with a thorough plan and LOTS of practice, you could help get your furry family members to safety as well.