Keeping our pets safe at all times is the number one priority for all owners, but would you know what course of action to take in the event of a fire?
When we leave our pets home alone, what do you think they do? Sleep all day? Sit by the front door patiently waiting for you? Play with their dog tags? The chances are they are exploring and making their own entertainment, and this often involves exploring the home.
On Monday 15th July as part of Pet Fire Safety Day, owners were encouraged to evaluate any fire hazard that could be presented in the home and ensure that they know exactly what to do in the event of a fire.
It is estimated that 40,000 pets die in fires, mostly from smoke inhalation. The following safety tips could save your dog’s life, as well as your own.
The first thing that any pet owner should do is to remove anything flammable from out of reach. This includes lighted candles, lighters and oven knobs. Smart dogs have been known to actually ignite a stove! Never leave pets unattended in the presence of an open flame including in a fireplace.
Owners of cats will undoubtedly have had to contend with them knocking off, and breaking, ornaments when walking across shelves. A smashed vase is one thing; a light that sparks can be the beginning of a disaster. Move them and put in a place where you know they cannot be reached.
Electrical cables can also pose a risk to pets who might see them as a chew toy. When damaged, these may spark and cause electrocution or a fire. Secure any cables and hide them behind furniture or other obstructions. You can also spray them with a chewing deterrent and use training techniques to teach your dog not to chew cables. Unplugging cables is also a good idea if you’re concerned your dog might chew them when you are out.
Beware of leaving your dog on an electric blanket unattended.
Keep leads close to exits so that they can be led to safety quickly. Dogs are often waiting at doors and run out when firefighters come in. If possible, keep pets in areas near an entry door when you are out.
Fire alarms are mandatory and can alert neighbours and passersby, so make sure your house is fully equipped and batteries are charged.
Be aware of where your pets tend to hide in case you need to evacuate them quickly.
Make sure everyone in the house is familiar with a fire escape plan.
Alert firefighters to the presence of pets in your home with window stickers.
In case of a fire, it is important your pets can be identified. By having a name tag on their collar with contact details, owners can easily be reunited with their pets in the event they are separated.
Having a tag will also mean that whoever rescues the pet will know what name they answer to, which can help to comfort the animal to some degree.
By following these simple precautions, you will go some way to preventing a fire started by your pet and know what to do in the unlikely event of a fire breaking out.