Apartment Fire Safety Tips for Pet Owners
Whether you live in an apartment or condo, connected housing units make it harder to prevent and control fires. Residential fires can be a terrifying scenario for pet owners, but fortunately there are a number of steps you can take to make sure your pet is safe in the event of a fire.
For instance, before signing a lease on an apartment, you should check that the complex is up-to-code by ensuring there are working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. If the complex doesn’t pass the inspection, talk to the leasing agent to have this rectified before signing the lease.
Causes of Apartment Fires
Apartment fires are caused by a number of things. The main causes of apartment fires are from cooking, heating equipment (like space heaters or gas heaters), smoking cigarettes, burning candles, arson, or even small children playing with matches. The likelihood of an apartment complex fire are much higher than single unit homes, since there are more residents to commit human error. Fortunately, with a little bit of planning, you can help ensure your family and pets stay safe.
Preventing Apartment Fires
The easiest way to keep your pet safe from apartment fires is by ensuring a fire does not start in your apartment unit. The following steps can help you fire-proof your unit:
● Carefully extinguish cigarettes and do not smoke in bed
● Keep matches and lighters safely where children can’t find them
● Never leave a stove or oven unattended
● Keep space heaters and other heating equipment at least 3 ft from combustible items
● Replace old electrical cords, and always use power strips if you need extra outlets
● Don’t store flammable gases like propane or gasoline in your apartment or on your balcony
● Never use an apartment balcony for storing grills or grilling food
What to Do During a Fire Emergency to Keep Your Pet Safe
In the event of a fire emergency, it is important to have a plan ahead of time to ensure your pet remains safe during the fire. For instance, if you have multiple pets, make sure there is a designated family member per pet. If you are at your apartment during the fire, make sure you know the most safe fire escape route, along with the locations of extinguishers in your complex. Always enact your evacuation plan if you hear a fire alarm sounding, even if you suspect it is a test. The following steps can also help your pets stay safe during a fire:
● Put a sticker or magnet on your doors and windows, so rescuers are aware you keep pets inside your apartment. Make sure you keep your rescue sticker updated by adding or removing pets as needed.
● When you’re not home, close doors to other rooms to limit the space your pet can go. Try and keep your pet as close to the front door as possible, so firefighters or rescuers can find her more swiftly.
● Keep a list of places your pet likes to hide and nap, so in the event of an emergency evacuation, you can tell the firefighter where to find her.
● In the event that you’re not home, tell your landlord to notify rescuers a pet is in your apartment, so they can gain entry in an emergency.
● Regularly check your unit’s smoke detectors and routinely replace batteries.
● Keep a collar and leash by your bed, in case a fire emergency takes place while you are sleeping.
● Train your dog, so they can understand important commands like “stay” and “come” which could save her life.
● Emergencies are often chaotic. One way to keep your pet contained during an evacuation is by making her comfortable with a carrying bag or pet taxi.
● Keep a photo of your pet available along with their medical history, in case they runaway during an emergency evacuation.
If there’s a fire in your apartment complex, make sure you have a plan in place, so you and your pet can escape safely. In the event that your pet is harmed during an apartment fire, call Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego today at 858-842-5600.