6 Fire Safety Tips That Can Save Your Pet’s Life
If your property were to go up in flames, would you know what to do? Unfortunately, fires are a very common occurrence, and all too often, homes, businesses and lives are destroyed as a result of a fire that was completely preventable. It is not just humans that are affected either. Studies have shown that an estimated 40,000 pets in the United States die in fires every year. The principal cause of their death is smoke inhalation rather than the fire itself, but a large number of animals also suffer catastrophic burns.
Exactly what causes fires can vary tremendously. Some of the most common causes of property fires include:
- Unsupervised cooking equipment
- Faulty heating
- Cigarettes not put out properly
- Faulty electrical equipment
- Curious children
However, in some cases a fire can actually be started by your pet! Stories where animals have started fires have included a cat that jumped off of a shelf and in the process knocked lit candles onto a bed, and a dog who pulled his bed up against a space heater to keep warm, only for it to become so hot it caught fire!
Fortunately, the vast majority of house fires are completely preventable. Here are 6 fire safety tips that can save your pet’s life and potentially your home from this all too common disaster.
1. Check your smoke alarms are working
Your smoke alarms are your first defence against fires, yet many people forget to check that they are working with any regularity. Schedule yourself an alarm to check them weekly or monthly and replace the batteries every 6 months. Fire experts recommend that you also replace the detectors themselves at least once every ten years since the sensors can become less effective over time.
2. Don’t leave open fires or flames unattended
Whether it is a single candle flame or an open fire, this element can get out of control in seconds if it comes into contact with the right substance. Unfortunately, an exuberate doggy’s wagging tail or a climbing cat can easily knock a candle over and cause a fire. An increasing number of owners are now opting for flameless candles to eliminate this hazard.
3. Protect your cooker
Stoves and cookertops are considered to be the primary cause of all fires started by pets and this is primarily because they are so easy to turn on my accident. All it takes is your pet to lean against one of the buttons or knobs and it could activate it. Protect your pet from burns and your home from a potential fire by turning it off at the wall when it isn’t in use.
4. Don’t use electric blankets
If you live somewhere cold it can be very tempting to use an electric blanket to stave away the chill, but they are notorious for overheating and catching light. Worse still, if your blanket has electric wires protruding from any part of it, these can seem like an irresistible chew toy for your pet.
5. Ensure electric cords are out of sight
While we are on the subject of chewing, virtually any electric wire can be tempting for a pet to chew. When wiring becomes damaged it can spark, putting you and your pet at risk of electrocution as well as potentially starting a fire. Don’t leave wires hanging around, tuck them away and if the item isn’t in use, unplug it from the wall completely.
6. Don’t leave glass in direct sunlight
One of the biggest mistakes made by pet owners is leaving glass bowls full of water in direct sunlight. However, this can act as a magnifying glass and reflect the light onto something flammable, creating a chance of a fire. Check that you don’t leave anything glass on windowsills or in front of glass doors. You should also avoid leaving glass bowls on decking.
If you are still concerned about the risk that a fire might pose to your pet, our team would be happy to advise and reassure you. Please call us or pop into our clinic.