It’s National Pet Fire Safety Day, and we have a question: Do you have a fire safety plan for your dog? If not, read on for some tips on creating one and how to keep your dog safe in the event of a fire!
Pet fire safety day: What is it?
Pet Fire Safety Day is important for several reasons. When you assess fire safety for dogs, you’re also, by default, assessing fire safety conditions for yourself as well. Being prepared for a fire is always a good thing, and taking the extra steps to ensure your dog will be okay in the event of a fire could literally be the difference between life and death. What can you do to create a fire safety plan for dogs and keep your best friend as safe as he can be? Here are a few tips!
Dog fire safety: Be proactive
The second-most important thing you can do is be sure you have smoke detectors in your home. The FIRST-most important thing is to make sure that the smoke detectors work, and have batteries changed frequently (experts recommend every 6 months at minimum for safety). Typically, fire and carbon monoxide detectors come together, but pet parents simply forget to ensure the batteries are working. Additionally, even with monitors, dog fire safety could include having a monitored detector because that will immediately alert authorities in the event of a fire. Your first goal will be to get your family to safety and a monitored service can be on the way as you’re doing that.
Also, MAKE SURE your dog is always wearing some sort of ID. Yes, always. Microchipping is also important, particularly if your dog escapes from the trauma. You never know what’s going to happen in the middle of the night, and making sure Fido is properly identifiable in the event of an emergency where you’re not in full-frame thinking mode can keep them safe.
Consider keeping doors closed when you’re sleeping and in whatever room your dog is sleeping (if not with you). Research shows again and again how a door closed when sleeping makes a huge difference in a fire spread.
It’s also wise to have window stickers or notices for first responders that let them know you have pets in the house. Again, the more knowledge they have, the better they can help you all. Be sure the information on your pets is updated on the stickers so responders know just who they’re looking for in the event of an emergency. On that same note, when you leave your pets, it isn’t a terrible idea to make sure they’re near entrances so that if a first responder does have to come for them, they’re easy to find. If you leave your dog in a crate/kennel while you’re gone, always consider having it as close to an entrance as you can so that there’s no need to search when time is at a premium.
Fire safety for dogs: More tips for fire pet safety day
It’s estimated that 500,000 dogs a year are involved in a house fire and 40,000 tragically die. The sad part about that statistic is that many of the fires are actually started by pets themselves.
Though accidental, your dog could put himself in fire danger. Be sure to consider the following for better pet fire safety:
- Be cautious around fireplaces! Sure, there’s nothing like that sweet picture of a dog enjoying a nice warm fire on a cozy evening but the truth is, you may just want to have a pet gate or screen to keep them safe. Embers crackle and can injure your dog or start a fire themselves, so don’t leave your best friend in front of the fire place all by himself.
- Be cautious with candles. To a puppy or even a curious teen dog, a candle could look pretty intriguing. It just takes one curious swipe or knock of a candle to start a fire. Battery-operated or flameless candles are not a bad idea and we can’t emphasize enough–never leave your dog alone with a lit candle.
- Be cautious with appliances. Space heaters are NOTORIOUS for starting home fires, and a dog just accidentally moving one too close to the curtain can mean disaster. Speaking of accidental, if your dog can reach your stovetop/the knobs, just go ahead and make a plan to protect the covers or knobs so he doesn’t start a fire. Seriously–it sounds like the stuff of America’s Funniest Videos, but it’s not funny when they switch on a gas burner and start a catastrophic fire. Unplug cords of appliances not in use, especially if you have puppies or teen dogs, as chewing cords and starting fires is also a leading cause of fire in homes with pets.
- Be cautious with materials. We know it might sound crazy but sometimes, glass water bowls on decks (outside) or at just the right angle inside the window on a hardwood floor can spark with the sun’s reflection. Think of how a magnifying glass can start a little fire on a dried leaf if you let the sun go through it just right. It’s the same concept and is not as uncommon as you may think. Consider a ceramic or stainless water bowl instead.
Be prepared with a plan!
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to protect your dog from fire is involve him in your family’s emergency plan. Go through the fire escape drills with him (and if you don’t have a fire escape plan for your family, GET ONE!). Have leashes available by doors just in case, and walk through those unusual possibilities you’ve found in case you are not able to leave your home in the event of fire through the front door. The more comfortable he is with the escape route, the easier it will be for you all.
No one wants to believe that a catastrophic fire could take their home over, or worse–hurt a family member in the process. But being prepared for an emergency can mean the difference between life and death.
Good health of course stems from the gut, and that’s why we believe Bernie’s Perfect Poop https://www.bernies.com/products/bernies-perfect-poop should be served with every meal. But there’s no good health to be had if something tragic happens to your best friend. Take this National Pet Safety Fire Day to be sure that’s never the case.