It’s always a great time to talk about pet fire safety. Recent data from the National Fire Protection Association suggests that pets start around one thousand fires each year, while around half a million pets are affected every year by home fires. The good news is that there are some quick and easy ways to help keep your dog or cat safe in the event of a house fire, and to help prevent your pets from starting any fires in your home.
No one wants to even think about a fire starting in their home—but unfortunately, they can and do happen. Thankfully, a little foresight can help your pets survive the unthinkable. Start by implementing some “best practices” like keeping your cat’s carrier and your dog’s leash in the same place 100% of the time. In a crisis such as a fire, knowing where to find what you need to get them out of the house as quickly as possible can help you keep a cool head. If you can keep those items by the door, so much the better.
Of course, this assumes you’ll be home when a fire starts. In case you’re not, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your pets if a fire breaks out while you’re away, such as installing monitored smoke detectors. Pets can’t get out of your home if the smoke detector goes off, so using a smoke detector that’s connected to a monitoring center can help first responders get to your house as quickly as possible. And consider getting a Pet Alert cling to affix to a prominent window for when those first responders arrive, making sure to note how many pets are in your home so they can save all of them. Cats, for example, tend to hide when frightened, so it may not be immediately obvious to firefighters if you have one (or more than one).
As for helping to prevent your pets from starting fires, most of it is fairly common sense. A good starting place is extinguishing all open flames, whether they’re on your stove or sitting around your house in the form of candles. Pets tend to be curious about smells, and will poke their noses into cooking fires, candles, or even your fireplace. So if you have to leave a stew simmering on the stove or your fireplace burning while you answer the door, take your dog with you or secure your cat. You could also consider investing in some flameless candles. Not only do they run on environmentally friendly rechargeable batteries, but also they won’t start a fire when your cat or dog accidentally knocks one over with the flick of a tail.
Even the most cautious pet owner can still have bad luck, so if your pet has been burned make sure to take them to a veterinarian in the greater Philadelphia area. Do not wait. A bad burn can send a pet into shock, and even minor ones need care and attention.
VRC is a specialty veterinary healthcare hospital located in the greater Philadelphia area. Our emergency medicine and critical care center is open 24/7, 365 days a year. If your pet is injured at any hour of the day or night, come and see us immediately. We’re here to help.