“One of the hallmarks of responsible dog ownership is keeping pets safe and planning for unexpected emergencies, including house fires,” said American Kennel Club (AKC) spokesperson Lisa Peterson.
Fires are one of the most common and devastating events that can occur in your home. As you formulate a plan to prevent and prepare for an outbreak, here are some easy tips to ensure your pet remains safe.
1. Upgrade to monitored smoke detectors
Unlike normal smoke detectors, monitored alarms alert the fire department in the event of a fire. This is particularly useful if you have pets home alone during the workday or while you run a quick errand.
2. Don’t leave candles lit
Candles can be easily knocked over by curious cats or wildly wagging dog tails. An overturned candle can quickly ignite nearby flammable materials and cause a fire. Be sure to blow out lit candles before leaving a room or your home – it takes only seconds for a candle mishap to turn into a dangerous fire!
3. Pet-proof your stove knobs
Curious pets – both dogs and cats – are known to accidentally turn on stove burners, filling your home with dangerous gas. In addition to asphyxiation, a gas leak can lead to serious fires and even explosions. You can avoid your burner-related issues by removing your stove’s knobs or, if possible, covering them with a cutting-board to prevent access.
4. Include pets in your escape plan
While creating your family’s plan for escape during a fire, be sure to include your pets as well. Making your pet part of your exit strategy will help to ensure your furry family make it to safety – even during the chaos of an emergency. If possible, include your pets in any practice runs you may do with your family. This will help to familiarize your four-legged friends with the process, and hopefully avoid confusion or fear in the event of a real fire.
5. Pet-proof your fireplace
Whether your home has a gas- or wood-burning fireplace, it’s important to ensure it’s safe for your pet. Begin by ensuring coverings are in good shape and adequately cover the flame. Loose or damaged coverings can invite investigation by curious pets, as well as let dangerous embers or sparks into your home. Additionally, keep items that could be knocked into the fire, like furniture and décor, away from the fireplace.
6. Help firefighters rescue your pets
To ensure a prompt rescue, keep your pets near the main entrances of your home while you’re away and be sure your dog or cat is wearing their collar. Additionally, you can attach a pet alert sticker to your front door or window that tells firefighters the number and type of pets in your home, allowing them to quickly account for any pets as they sweep the house.
“Pet proofing the home, developing pet-friendly escape routes and alerting rescuers of your pets presence with ‘window clings’ is the best way to keep your four-legged family member from harm.” —Lisa Peterson, AKC spokesperson.
Interested in other ways to keep your pet safe? Consider enrolling your furry family in Companion Protect®. From protecting your dog or cat from the unexpected to delivering comprehensive coverage that’s there for you (and your wallet) when you need it most, Companion Protect has you covered.
Wilson has written for brands in the tech, e-commerce, construction, health, and finance industries. In his free time, he enjoys cooking for friends and family, spoiling his dog-daughter (Penny), painting, and playing music with friends. And speaking of food, his favorite meal is his mom’s pot roast and mashed potatoes!