You may have already thought of how to integrate your pet into your fire escape plan, but what about fire safety and prevention? This summer the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services teamed up for the third annual National Pet Fire Safety Day, releasing information and tips for putting together a pet fire safety plan.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, pets cause approximately 1,000 home fires a year. Nearly all of these incidents occurred when the pet was left unattended at home. So while you might have your house as puppy-proofed as you think you need to keep your dog (or other pet) from consuming something unsavory, there might be more steps you need to take to prevent your pet from accidentally starting a fire.
The AKC and ADT released a series of suggestions for how to avoid pet-caused home fires:
Prevent your pet from starting fires
-Extinguish open flames
-Remove stove knobs
-Invest in flameless candles
-Beware of water bowls on wooden decks
Keep your pets safe
-Keep pets near entrances when away from home
-Secure young pets
-Affix a pet alert window cling
Some of the suggestions here are obvious and some of them might require more explanation. ADT/the AKC suggest removing or covering up stove knobs because, according to the NFPA, the stove/cook top is the number one place your pet is likely to cause an accidental fire. Glass water bowls are discouraged on wooden decks because in some cases the sun can heat through the glass and ignite a fire. If you need to leave your pet water out on a wooden deck, use a ceramic or metal bowl instead.
The list also suggests keeping a pet near entrances so that if rescue workers need to remove a pet from a burning building, they do not have to go far to locate the pet. Keep leashes/carry cases somewhere close to entrances for the same reason. Because younger, more impulsive/curious puppies are more likely to cause a fire, consider securing them when left alone.
All of this makes me wonder if I ought to reconsider, yet again, what to do with Chihiro when she’s left alone in the house. Due to the recent pie incident she now gets gated in the kitchen when we leave. But should I leave her free there with access to the stove?
We do have an electric stove, so as long as nothing is on top of it maybe I shouldn’t worry. But that still might cause problems; maybe I should start putting her in her crate again, or at least locking her in the bedroom.
This list has given me some things to consider about upgrading my fire safety at home in relation to my pets. While I know a pet-caused fire might be rare, I’d rather be safe than sorry.