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130YearsofService

Pet Fire Safety – Part of the Family Plan

Protecting Your Pets from Potential Danger

Petbyopenflame

 Home fires affect all the residents including our non-human family members. To protect the entire family, start by ensuring that all Smoke Alarms are in good working order and change batteries twice annually if a battery unit.

 

 The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your “Family Fire Safety Plan”. Designate one human family member who would be responsible for each pet.

 

 

Prevent Your Pet from Starting House Fires

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires in the USA each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. There are no Canadian statistics.

Safeguard you, your family, and your pets against fire: "fire proof" your pets to help prevent a disaster from happening in your home. Here are some good tips to help prevent accidental fires:

  • Never leave a burning candle unsupervised! Extinguish open flames as pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Make sure that all cords are either inaccessible to your pets, or that you unplug the cords when the electrical device is not in use. Some dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents like to nibble on cords, which can result in serious burns and can cause a fire. Remember young animals like to chew on inappropriate items.
  • Remove stove knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure young pets; keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas. Keep certain appliances, such as irons and hair dryers, out of pets' reach. These appliances can produce enough heat that, if knocked over by a pet, they could start a fire. Install a barrier in front of fireplaces, campfires, barbecues and portable heaters. It is a myth that pets are afraid of fire - in fact, many pets like to lay close to a source of heat to stay warm. Lying too close to a fire could result in your pet's fur catching fire; and it is possible for most pets to knock over a portable heater or a barbecue. Always ensure your pets cannot get near these items. If your pet gets burned: put cool water on the burned area quickly, followed by a cold compress and seek veterinary assistance immediately.

 

Have an Emergency Kit On Hand

Prepare their own disaster supplies kit (from the Red Cross) for each pet. The kit should contain some of your pet’s food, veterinary paperwork, prescription medications, if any, and photo/description of your pet. You may have to board your pet at a kennel or other facility until you get settled after a fire, and these facilities will require proof that your pet has current vaccinations.

 

Locate Your Pet's Hideaway

Know their hiding places: Remember, your pets will be terrified, and they’ll most likely run to the places they feel most safe. If you don’t know their common hiding places, you could run out of time to save your friend. Find all the best cubbyholes and niches, map them out on a piece of paper, and include the map in your fire escape plan.

 

Keep Outdoor Pets Away From Danger

Keep pet houses or pens away from brushy areas. It is advised to clear dry brush away from your home, out buildings, fences and any shelter for your pets.

If you have a doghouse, penning for a rabbit, pot-bellied pig, or other outdoor pet, make sure it is at least 10 metres or 20 feet away from any brush that could possibly become fuel in a fire. This will give you time to go out and rescue your pet if such a fire does threaten your property.

 

In Case of Fire

Evacuate: In the event of a disaster where you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too. Leave the property by the quickest and safest means possible, collect your pet on the way - providing it's practical to do so and won't cause a delay and won't hamper your exit.

Restrain your pet: Always evacuate your pets on a leash or in a pet carrier. Just as with fireworks, pets will panic at the smell of smoke and they may bolt at any time,
making them impossible to find. Keep collars and leads near your front or back door (whichever you use more frequently or even at both). When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances or external windows where firefighters can easily find them.

If you leave your pet: Inform onsite firefighters of its last known location and favourite hiding place. Firefighters will do what they can to ensure your pet is treated as a priority. On your way out, leave a door open and call the pet’s name, with luck, it will hear you and head for your voice. Be prepared; he’ll be panicked. Be sure to have a designated meeting place near your home for everyone to meet so everyone will be accounted for away from the fire. Animals have a natural fear of fire and will attempt to get away through any open door, window, or pet flap/door.

Never re-enter a burning building, it may result in you or your pet requiring rescue, sustaining injury, or death.

With a little planning, you can ensure that every family member; person or pet, will be safe in case there is a fire in your home.