The American Kennel Club founded National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15th) to bring awareness to the fact that nearly half a million pets are affected by home fires each year. With this in mind, your fire safety plan should incorporate all members of your family, including the furry ones.
Fortunately, there are many simple ways you can help protect your pet from fire-related injuries, including pet-proofing your home, limiting their exposure to open flames, and more. Whether you’re at home or away, here are some simple pet fire safety tips.
“Pet-proof” your home
Even well-behaved pets can become mischievous when they’re bored. When left unsupervised, they may decide to taste-test things they shouldn’t, including household cleaning supplies, pantry items, and the cords for your household appliances.
In addition to being a nuisance, chewing an electrical cord could injure your pet or cause a house fire.
For the safety of both you and your pets, conceal any loose cords or wires within your home so they are out of reach from your pets. Unplugging appliances when not in use will also help limit the fire risk.
When leaving your pet home alone, consider crating them or confining them to an area of your house that is safe from such hazards.
Keep pets away from open flames
Burning a candle can create a pleasant ambiance within your home, but it can quickly become a hazard if your pet knocks it over. Always keep open flames out of your pet’s reach and never leave a flame unattended in your home.
Keep pets away from fireplaces and backyard fire pits as well. Not only could a rambunctious pet fall into the fire, but they could also knock someone over, causing them to fall into the flames. For everyone’s safety, leave energetic pets in another area or keep them leashed while you enjoy a fire with your family.
Use a monitored fire alarm system
A monitored fire alarm system is the best way to be prepared in case a fire occurs when you’re not home. That way, first responders will be dispatched even if you’re not home to hear the fire alarm go off.
Consider placing a sticker for the fire department near your front door stating how many pets live in your home, so first responders know when each pet is accounted for.
Know the signs of smoke inhalation
Smoke inhalation can harm pets, so it’s essential to know the symptoms and when to contact your veterinarian. If your pet has been exposed to smoke from a fire of any kind, monitor them for the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Weakness or lethargy
- Burns, swelling, or inflammation of the mouth, eyes, or skin
Contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline for guidance if you think your pet may be suffering from smoke inhalation.
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