National Pet Fire Safety Day is quite a mouthful to say but the idea is quite simple. July 15th is designed for pet parents as a reminder to do a quick safety check around the house, making sure it is “pet proof” and updating your family’s fire evacuation plan to include your pets.
Pet proofing is often done when bringing home a kitten or puppy for the first time, but after months and years go by some of these simple safety tips escape us. Here are a few fire safety tips about those innocent household items we often forget about.
Burning a candle on the coffee table or bathroom counter can add a nice cozy feel to the room; however curious cats that get free range of the furniture can cause some serious problems. Not only can they get up there and push off the burning candle, their fur can easily catch fire.
Candles also cause damage when placed on an unsteady surface. If your cat or dog were to bump into it, could they knock the candle over?
- Gas Stovetops
Whether it is your cat crawling around the kitchen countertops or your all too naughty husky mix who thinks anything on the counter is his, they are in the position to twist the stove knob. Gas stoves are dangerous for two reasons: if pushed hard and turned correctly by your pet, a flame will emerge. Secondly and most dangerously, if the knob gets turned just enough, carbon monoxide will leak.
Free standing and table lamps while a beautiful alternative light source than an overhead light, should never be left on when your pets are home alone. Lamps have the ability to tip over, from the swish of an excited pup’s tail or the nuzzle of a cat who likes to rub his head on every surface. When you turn a lamp on and head out the door you are leaving open the possibility for your pet to knock over the lamp, causing the hot bulb to break and potentially cause a fire.
- Electrical Cords
Cords strung behind the TV can look like a great chew toy for your teething pup or kitten. Make sure all cords are hidden and tucked away. Frayed cords can overheat, create electrical shock and catch fire.
After checking your home and doing some pet-proofing, take a second to discuss with your family your fire evacuation plan. How and where you get out of the house is what will save your life, but once you’re out the last thing you want to do is go back in for the cat or dog. Make sure you have a plan in place for your pets too. The ASPCA has a few great resources in disaster preparedness and the National Fire Prevention Association has tips on fire evacuation plans including a checklist printout for pets.
Using window or door decals identifying the type and number of pets you have is also an excellent safety precaution to ensure your pets make it out safely in the event of a fire. Join Nana’s Pet First Aid & CPR this week in honoring Pet Fire Safety Day by completing a home check and updating your pet’s emergency plan.