History of National Pet Fire Safety Day
There are an estimated 360,000 residential house fires that occur in the U.S. every year, claiming the lives of nearly 40,000 beloved pets. To raise awareness and increase safety measures against fires, the American Kennel Club created National Pet Fire Safety Day. Since 2009, this national holiday has been observed and efforts have been made to help prevent the untimely death of household pets. In addition to National Pet Fire Safety Day, we observe the day after to remember all the pets whose lives were lost as a result of house fires.
Keep You, Your Family And Your Pets Safe
Every year, more than 1,000 fires are started unintentionally by pets. While uncommon, it poses a serious threat to your family’s health and safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), pets can start house fires in a number of ways including, chewing electrical wires, accidentally turning on the oven or stove, or knocking over candles or other lit items. Keep your pets safe and reduce the risk of fires by properly concealing electrical wires, keeping candles and other lit items out of reach for pets, and pet-proofing your stove and oven.
Have An Evacuation Plan
Every household should have an evacuation plan for emergencies, including fires. Be sure to include your pets in your emergency plan. Designate a family member to be responsible for locating and securing the pet. Keep an emergency kit that includes a leash or carrier, food, and water near the exit to easily grab on the way out. Pets can read behaviors and tone of voice, so it’s important to always remain calm.
Have A Rescue Plan
Should you not be home or unable to reach your pet in times of an emergency, have a rescue plan in place. Securely place pet alert stickers in a window on each side of the house to let firefighters and first responders know there is a pet in the house. Notify them of your pet’s whereabouts, including places they may hide. Make sure your pet is equipped with a collar, tag or chip in the event they run off during evacuation.
Tips to Prevent House Fires
Extinguish Open Flames: Most pets are intrigued by flames and are likely to explore your fireplace, candles, and even kitchen appliances. Before leaving your home, be sure to completely extinguish any flames and never leave your pet unsupervised near an open flame.
Pet Proof the Home: Look around your house for accessible stove knobs, frayed wires, and other potential fire hazards. We recommend having a home inspection by a thorough and professional home inspector to check for potential fire dangers and help to resolve issues before they become a serious problem.
Keep Pets Near Entrances: When you’re away from home, keep your pets in rooms or areas of the house close to exits so that firefighters can easily locate them in the event of a fire.
Train Pets: In case you need to activate your evacuation plan, keep collars, leashes or carriers easily accessible and, if possible, train your pets to respond to commands when called.
Protect Your Home: Use monitored smoke detectors instead of battery-operated ones to add an additional layer of safety to your home as these detectors are connected to a secure monitoring center.
Keep Your Information Up to Date: Remember to update the number of pets living in the home on your pet alert stickers so firefighters know how many pets to rescue. Be sure to update collars, tags, and chips with contact information including your phone number or address change.
National Pet Fire Safety Day FAQs
Q1: How to pet-proof my chimney and fireplace?
Pet-proofing your home is essential to keep your furry family members safe. It's crucial to have a protective barrier around the fireplace to prevent pets from getting too close to the fire. Read our article on Chimney and Fireplace Inspection to ensure your home is safe and sound for your pets.
Q2: How do I safely get my pet out of a fire?
Keep a collar on your pet and have leashes and carriers in a convenient location close to the exit so you can access them quickly. Keep your pet close to you and remain calm. Exit the home and walk as far away from the fire as possible. When you reach a safe location, contact the authorities, and check your pet to make sure they are unharmed.
Q3. Where do I put the pet alert sticker?
Place one pet alert sticker in at least one window on each side of your house. Make sure the sticker is visible from outside the home and the view is not obstructed by trees, shrubs or anything else.
National Pet Fire Safety Day is a day dedicated to keeping our furry friends safe from fires. Always make sure your smoke detectors are functioning properly and replace the batteries often. Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions in your home such as pet-proofing, eliminating fire hazards, and getting a thorough home inspection, especially if you are a first-time pet owner. WIN Home Inspection offers comprehensive home inspections that can help identify any potential hazards in your home, including those that could put your pets at risk. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an inspection.