For the past few years, The American Kennel Club has teamed up with ADT Security in order to raise awareness about pets and fire safety. With approximately 1,000 home fires each year being started by pets, it is extremely important to not only prepare your pet for the possibility of needing to leave your home during a fire, but to help prevent fires that are commonly started by pets themselves. Safety measures can be put in place to stop a majority of the fires that pets start. Purchasing flameless candles, stove knob covers, and cord protectors all go a long way in stopping a pet caused fire before it ever starts. Pets can be especially curious of flamed candles and often knock them over in an attempt to access the candle for inspection. Candles should never be left unattended, especially with pets around. When using flamed candles, always keep them out of reach and sight of your pet or keep your pet confined while they are in use. Stove knobs may be turned on by a cat jumping across the stove surface or by a pet attempting to inspect the stove area for morsels of food left behind. Knobs can be removed when not in use or protective covers can be purchased to prevent accidental ignition. This is true of both gas and electric stove tops. Electrical cords can be an attractive chewing place for pets and frayed or exposed wires can mean a fire waiting to happen in your home. Regular inspection of exposed cords and the use of cord protectors can prevent harmful chewing by pets. Owners should also consider that in each of these instances, even when a home fire does not result, pets themselves can receive serious burns by coming in contact with these items. Home owners can further protect their pets by obtaining window clings that notify firefighters of the number of each species of pet that are within the home. Owners should be sure to keep this information up-to-date to prevent pets being left behind or firefighters spending unnecessary time in the home searching for a pet that is no longer there.
Ask us at Animal Central for more information on keeping your pet safe from fire or visit: http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4152
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff