July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day. Did you know that in the United States alone, it is estimated that over 1,000 house fires are started each year by pets? It is also estimated that unfortunately about 40,000 pets perish in house fires each year.
Cats and dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures. The flickering flame of a candle near the edge of a table could be the next thing a cat pushes off the ledge. Space heaters or fireplaces could be perceived as a safe source of heat for your dog, so much that they pull their pet bed right up next to it. These scenarios are real-life examples of how a beloved family pet unknowingly started a house on fire. The best thing we can do is to prevent these opportunities from happening in the first place. It not only keeps our pets safe but our homes safe as well.
To prevent a disaster from happening, we encourage you to:
- Put out open flames. Never leave a candle or other open flame unsupervised. A better alternative to the flickering flame is electronic candles. If you enjoy a candle’s scent, try a diffuser, plug-in air freshener, or oil warmer.
- Protect your stove. Don’t leave appetizing foods that your pet may jump up to sample on the stove. They may accidentally turn the stove knobs on, creating a dangerous fire hazard. If you have a pet that is a notorious counter surfer, consider investing in inexpensive stove knobs to ensure your stove is protected.
- Cover your cords. Not only can pets get tangled in cords, but they may also view them as a source of chewing entertainment. Keep them secured and/or covered and away from your pets.
The ASPCA offers free Pet Safety Packs, which includes an emergency window cling, alerting first responders to how many pets reside in your home. You can request your free pack by visiting https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack.
Keep your pets safe year-round with these helpful fire safety tips. For additional tips, visit the Red Cross site here.