National Pet Fire Safety Day is held on July 15th, and it’s a great time to go over some fire safety tips that can prevent fires in the home and keep your dog safe should a fire break out. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says pets are responsible for over 1,000 house fires every year in the United States, and an estimated 40,000 pets die in fires, mostly from smoke inhalation. Being prepared and following safety tips could save your dog’s life, as well as your own.
Fires started by pets are almost always due to owners mistakenly leaving their animals in dangerous situations. You may have heard of the dog who accidentally turned on a stove and lit a pizza box on fire as he tried to get a slice of pizza while his owners were in the other room. Luckily, the damage was minimal and the owners stopped the fire in time. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and it’s just one example of the kinds of danger dog owners can unwittingly put their pets and themselves in.
Take the following steps to protect your home and your dog from accidental fires:
- Use flameless candles that have a light bulb instead of a wick. If you prefer the real thing, never leave pets unattended in the presence of an open flame, whether it’s a candle, fireplace, stove, or any other fire they can reach or accidentally knock over.
- If your dog is tall enough on their hind legs to reach counter height, remove stove knobs when you leave the kitchen, or you can find knob covers that will keep them from turning on the stove accidentally. The NFPA says a stove or cooktop is the number-one cause of fires started by pets.
- Electrical cords can sometimes be seen by your dog as a chew toy. When they are damaged, they can spark and cause electrocution or a fire. Secure any cords and hide them behind furniture or other obstructions. You may wish to unplug them if you leave cords unattended or spray them with something bitter as a deterrent. Further aversion training may be needed if your dog still tries to chew cords.
- Do not leave your dog on an electric blanket unattended. Dogs can chew on these, exposing the wires, which can cause electrocution or heat up and catch the blanket on fire. Replace any old electric blankets that show wear and tear.
- Use stainless steel or ceramic pet water dishes on your wooden deck. Filtered and heated through glass and water, the sun’s rays can ignite the wood beneath the bowl.
- Check your home for potential hazards such as loose wires, stove knobs, and piles of paper or other rubbish.
Leaving your pets unattended for an extended period of time can also be a detriment to their health. Make sure they’re well-fed, happy and that they get the exercise they need with the help of a trusted pet sitter at Pet Peeps in DC: book a service.