As pet owners, the last thing we want to think about is our furry family members getting hurt in a fire. Sadly, over half a million pets are affected by house fires each year, and over 1,000 of those house fire incidents are started by pets. Having a pet fire safety plan is an invaluable and essential way to save your home and your pet. July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day, and our REALTORS® have put together these tips to inspire you to develop a fire safety plan that includes your pets.
Preventing Your Pet from Starting a Fire
- Extinguish Open Flames
Never leave pets unattended around open flames on candles and fireplaces. Candles are great for a relaxed evening, but with a curious furry pal or a wagging tail, they can be quite the danger. You may want to switch to a battery-operated flameless candle to save your pet and property from needless harm. If your pet loves to cozy up near the fireplace, consider an enclosed gas fireplace or pet gate to ensure they keep a safe distance.
- Remove Stove Knob
A stove or cooktop is a major cause of fires started by pets. A curious pet who climbs around the kitchen can hit a stove knob, turning up a flame or turning on the gas. Be sure to remove knobs or use knob covers before leaving the house. Secure young or untrained pets in crates or behind baby gates to keep them away from potential hazards when you're away from home.
- Secure Electrical Cords
Electrical cords can be tempting to a playful kitty or pup. And sometimes, pets think that the cords are chew toys. Of course, your best bet would be training them to stay away, but securing the wires and cords will ensure they'll have no chance of sparking a fire or electrocuting your pet. Use ties to bundle cords or enclose them in a conduit. Also, dispose of or repair damaged cords.
Prepare in Case of Fire
- Upgrade Your Smoke Detectors
While it's obviously important to ensure your home has functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you may want to think about using monitored smoke detectors for pet fire safety. These devices are connected to a monitoring center. In a situation where a fire breaks out when you're not at home, emergency responders would be alerted and dispatched immediately to rescue your furry companion.
- Make an Emergency Plan
If a fire starts, you may have as little as two minutes to evacuate your home. As such, it's important to create and practice a fire evacuation plan with your pet. Identify all the exits for your escape route, place one family member in charge of the pets, and have leashes and pet emergency items stored near an exit. Run a scenario where you find your pet and get them out of the house and also practice exit open access drills. This will help them get used to coming outside when their name is called out.
- ID Your Pet
It's important to microchip your pet or get them a collar with an ID tag. Proper and updated information can help ensure your pet is found and returned home safely if they flee because of the noise and danger of house fire.
- Keep Your Pet Near an Exit
You may enjoy giving your pet a free run of the house, but keeping them in a designated area close to the exit provides a better chance of getting out in case of fire. You can achieve this by crating your pet or creating a space in the foyer. If you don't crate, you need to know where your pet likes to nap or hide when stressed or scared.
- Get Pet Fire Safety Stickers
Place pet fire stickers on the front and back windows of your home. These will let the firefighters know how many and what kind of pets are in the house.
If you're looking at Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we understand that you'll be making your pet part of the home-buying process. Our REALTORS® love animals and can help you find a home that's perfect for all family members, including four-legged ones. Contact us today to learn more.