National Pet Fire Safety Day
National Pet Fire Safety Day
July 15, 2017 marks the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) annual National Pet Fire Safety Day. The AKC estimates that approximately 500,000 pets are impacted by house fires each year. Nearly 1,000 of those house fires are started by pets themselves while interacting with common household items.
Do you have a counter-surfer, a dog who one minute sidles up to the counter and the next minute is paws up, eating the cake you just baked? That’s all it can take for an accident to occur, potentially harming them or your property, while you’re away. Here are some tips to “pet-proof” your home and protect your dog against potential hazards.
Reduce Household Hazards
Dogs are curious and many want to investigate candles, fires in a fireplace, and cooking appliances. Ensure your pet is not left unattended in a room with an open flame. Your gas stove may have an active pilot flame that remains lit even when not in-use. It’s convenient for you, but can be too easy for them to turn on. If your stove has knobs, consider removing them so that a nosy dog doesn’t accidentally turn them on.
Before you leave home, ensure all open flames like candles or cigarette butts are fully extinguished. Wagging tails can knock these over and cats are notorious for smacking them with their tails as they saunter by. If you keep a glass water dish outside for your dog to sip from, replace it with a plastic bowl. If left in direct sunlight, the heat generated by concentrated light through the water and glass can ignite the wood underneath and start a fire.
Be Ready for the Unexpected
Even if your pets have free reign when you are away, it is best to keep them contained to a main living space. For example, if you live in a home with two floors, you may use a baby gate to block off the stairs. In the case of an emergency, your pets will be visible and more easily accessible for rescuers. Puppies are often best kept secured in a crate or “puppy-proofed” small room, as they may be more likely to get into things. Keep leashes and collars easily accessible for a quick evacuation from your home. Additionally, use a window cling to alert firefighters that there are pets in the home, along with how many and what kind. Click here to get a free safety pack sent to you from the ASPCA.
At Social Pet, formal documented safety training occurs monthly with all staff while daily coaching and follow-up happens daily. Earlier this year, Pineville Fire Department come out and trained our staff on fire extinguisher use and other best practices to keep your pets safe in case of a fire. A plan is in place in case evacuation is necessary. Evacuation route maps are posted throughout the building and the plan is reviewed with all staff each month to ensure the safest evacuation possible of all dogs in the event of an emergency. For more information on what you can do to keep your pet safe at home, visit the AKC’s page here.