Did You Know? An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires. What you probably didn’t know, is that nearly 1,000 house fires each year are started by pets, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association.
Chris and Kay Wardlow of Oklahoma know all too well the dangers of leaving an unsupervised pet at home. As Lucy, their curious dog, tried to get a taste of a cake left on the stove top, her paw accidentally hit the stove knob and turned on the gas burner that was under the cake pan. Within minutes, the house was filled with smoke. Fortunately the Wardlows had a monitored smoke detector. Firefighters were called to the scene, and both the house & Lucy were both saved.
Pet Fire Safety Tips
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 any open flames and make sure to thoroughly extinguish all open flames 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.
Keep your pets safe
- Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – When leaving pets home alone, keep them near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Secure Young Pets – Keep pets (especially young ones) confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
- Consider Using Monitored Smoke Detectors – These are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home.
- Use Pet Alert Window Cling – Identify pets inside your house on a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.
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