Fire Safety and Pets
No matter how much you practice fire safety with the human members of your family, it won’t help you deal with the wildcards that are your pets. It’s important to focus on pets and fire safety specifically; don’t assume that you and they will know what to do should an emergency arise. Pets can both cause fires and be victims of them, so you have to approach pet and fire safety from two different angles. Here’s some advice to keep in mind.
Smoke Alarm Training
You have to be able to retrieve your pet if a fire occurs. One suggestion is to train your pet to go to a specific place whenever the smoke alarm sounds. This could be to a crate or carrier, or even to you. When you first try this, see where your pet goes automatically. Some pets are more scared of the alarm than others and may be more resistant to training. That means you need to see where they want to go if they aren’t going to a carrier or to you. For example, your pet may hide under a specific piece of furniture; you’ll know to look there if there’s a fire and you can’t see them by their carrier.
Planning for Your Pet
You also need to plan what to do if you can’t get to your pet. Get an emergency sticker for your window that alerts emergency responders and tells them there’s a pet in the home. Include the pet in your emergency drills, too. Even if the smoke alarm sound makes them nervous, they’ll see you and your family taking certain actions at that sound, and they may learn to join in. You’ll also get a good sense of how easy it will be to quickly evacuate with a scared cat, for example.
Reducing Open Flames in Your Home
Pets can be catalysts for fires, too; the National Fire Protection Association says that pets cause almost 1,000 house fires per year. One common cause of this is pets knocking over candles. It’s best to reduce the number of open flames in your home wherever possible; for example, use electric candles instead of real ones.
Physical Modifications for Stove Safety
Pets can also accidentally step on stove and oven knobs and turn them on. Modifying your stove and oven to ensure that your pet doesn’t start a house fire is extremely important. The Red Cross suggests covering the knobs, if not outright removing them from the stove and oven. You’ll also want to set up some sort of containment system to corral your pet when you’re cooking and have the stove on.
Fire safety is just as important for your pet as it is for you. Learn what your pet wants to do when they hear the smoke alarm, train them to go to their carrier or to you, and eliminate as much open flame as you can. This will help keep you and your furry family member safe in a fire emergency. For more assistance in ensuring that your home is safe, contact Firetron for fire safety solutions such as fire inspections and fire extinguisher services.