Fire Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Did you know that pets are the source of around 1,000 fires a year?

According to the American Kennel Club, fires in or around a home will affect roughly 500,000 dogs, cats and other animals in the world annually. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your home is protected against potential fire hazards. In honor of National Pet Fire Safety Day here are a few tips to help keep you and your furry friends safe.

Eliminate Open Flames

Open flames are a common source of accidental home fires. The flames from candles, fireplaces, and some stovetops can easily spread when disturbed by a dog or cat, which is why they need to be extinguished when you’re not in the room. Invest in flameless candles when possible and place a protective barrier around your fireplace to keep the flames out of reach of your pets. Switching to electric sources of heat is a great and often safer alternative when animals are in the home.

Hide Cords and Wires

Electrical fires are also a hazard, so you have to take steps to ward off curious teeth. Cats and dogs are notorious for chewing on cords and wandering around electrical outlets. Bury wires within the walls or beneath the carpet, or cover them with a cord protector your dog can’t get through. Unplug all cords and wires when not in use and keep them out of reach from your furball.

Post Alerts

In the event a fire does occur, whether caused by your pet or not, it’s important to let the fire department know your friend is inside so he’ll be rescued. Post a sticker on the front window near the door indicating how many pets are in the home. This way the firemen will know to look for them and get them out before the unthinkable happens.

Cover Stovetop Knobs

Gas stovetops are particularly dangerous for dogs because they’re often easy to turn on by accident. All it takes is for your pup to smell something delicious on top of the oven and to hop up on his hind legs for a peak. His front paws can easily turn the knob and turn on the gas, filling your home with noxious fumes and potentially starting a fire depending on the type of stove you have. Invest in high-quality knob covers to keep this from happening.

dog grill

©istockphoto/Kerkez

Barricade the BBQ

Summer BBQs are some of the most entertaining events of the year, so take some of the stress out of them by making things safer for your dog. The flames of a grill can spread quickly if it gets knocked over and it can be hard for Rover to resist the smell of those delicious burgers just waiting to be snatched. Set up your grill somewhere away from your dog’s roaming area. Tether him to a safe spot that’s not within reach of the grill so he won’t knock it over.

Secure His Home

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, you’re likely (and probably should) have a doghouse for him where he can go to for shelter. It’s important to keep the doghouse away from anything that might easily ignite on a hot day. That means it should be clear of brush, bushes, wood and any other vegetation that could go up in flames. You don’t want your dog trapped in his house with no escape.

Keep Water Bowls Off the Deck

Most people tend to miss one of the most dangerous hazards, because it’s hard to believe that something holding water could lead to a fire. That’s right, your dog’s water bowl is a risk. When left out on a hot deck, a glass water bowl can actually work just like a magnifying glass and generate enough heat to light up the wood. Keep the bowl indoors, in the grass, or simply opt for stainless steel or plastic instead.

Crate Training

One of the most effective ways to keep your dog from starting a fire when you’re away is to eliminate his opportunities to get into trouble. You can do so by keeping him confined to his crate. When properly trained, your pup will see his crate as basically his indoor doghouse where he can go to relax and feel secure. Teach him to love it and you can safely enclose him in there for a few hours at a time and keep him safe from anything that might cause a fire.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

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