The 3rd annual National Pet Fire Safety Day was yesterday—July 15. The day exists to educate guardians on how to prevent pets from starting fires in the home and how to keep the animals safe if a fire does break out.
Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club, says the organization partnered with ADT Security Services and selected July 15 because the day falls in the middle of the summer, when families tend to travel more.
“Pets are left alone at home for longer periods of time, which allows for them to start a fire or get into trouble,” says Peterson.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, animals directly cause nearly 1,000 home fires each year, and an estimation of 500,000 pets are involved in and affected by fires annually.
Peterson offers advice and some tips for guardians to “pet proof” their homes and prevent their pets from starting a fire:
1). Pets are often very curious when encountering an open flame whether from a stovetop, a candle, or even a fireplace during the winter, so make sure to extinguish the flame before leaving the room or leaving the pet alone.
2). Purchase flameless candles that have a light bulb in place of a flame.
3). Cover or remove the knobs of the stove because many animals will jump up and accidentally turn on the flame or the gas.
4). Use ceramic instead of glass bowls for water. Depending on the direction of sunlight, the glass may concentrate the rays and start a fire.
To keep pets safe when they alone, Peterson says to place a pet alert window cling to the front window of the home so fire fighters know how many animals live in the house.
Also, install an emergency responder to inform the nearest fire department that there is an unexpected emergency occurring at the home when the guardians are gone. —Nicole Soszynski