National Pet Fire Safety Day

Jul 15, 2017

Ooohhh! Not a good idea!
Credit bettyx1138 [Flickr]

Allowing a pet to jump up on countertops is not a good idea for several reasons, but one of the most dangerous is allowing them access to  a gas cooktop.  One misstep could bump a knob that turns on the cooking flame, which has the possibility of starting a fire with no human present to correct the situation.  Covering or removing the knobs when pets are home alone can help to prevent a disaster.

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Just ten days ago, a 39-year-old Pennsylvania woman died trying to rescue her pets from a house fire. Two pets also died in the fire, and a third, a dog, survived. There is no indication that the pets did anything to cause the fire, but there is a lesson for all of us. Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day, a time to remind pet owners about the dangers of leaving pets home alone.

It is estimated that half-a-million pets are affected by home fires each year. The National Fire Protection Association reports that every year almost one thousand house fires are accidentally started by pets in the home. The American Kennel Club offers some helpful tips to keep your best friends safe and prevent a tragedy. First, reduce the possibility that your pet might start a fire by removing all access to open flames. That includes candles and gas cooktops. Use flameless candles, instead, and cover or remove the knobs on gas cooktops to prevent a pet from hitting a knob.

Something I had not thought about is the danger of leaving a glass water bowl for your pet on a wooden deck. The sun's rays can heat up the water and glass, ultimately causing the wood deck underneath to ignite. Stainless, plastic or ceramic bowls are good alternatives.

Post a pet alert notice on your windows that there are animals inside, how many and what kind. It can help firefighters know there may be animals trapped inside. Keep pets near a door when you are not at home, so firefighters can easily find them. Keep leashes or carriers nearby in case you have to get out quickly with your pet. Those will also be helpful for rescuers.

You can get a pet alert static window cling to record your pets' information from several places. If you go online to ASPCA.org, you can request a free Pet Safety Pack which includes a window cling.

For the complete list of AKC pet fire safety tips, visit their website at AKC.org.

Safety is always worthwhile, especially when it protects your loved ones from the traumatic effects of a fire - when you're speaking of pets.

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