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Fire Safety and Your Pet

In honor of American Humane's Pet Fire Safety Day, the experts at vipHomeLink have compiled some tips to help keep your family, including your fur babies, safe in case of a fire. In this blog you will find ways to help prevent a fire from being started by your pet, helpful advice for pet owners on how to be prepared for a fire, and what to do if there is a fire in your home. We want everyone to make it out of their home safely.

Preventing a Fire 

The best way to ensure your pets' safety is to prevent a fire from occurring in the first place. It is estimated that our beloved pets cause an estimated 1000 fires annually. Most, if not all, of these fires are preventable by taking a few simple steps:
  • Remove or Cover Oven Knobs: Cook tops and ovens are the number one cause of fires started by pets. Make sure to remove your oven knobs before you leave the house or purchase knob covers that prevent a knob from accidentally being turned.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles: These candles replace an open flame with a light bulb. This helps to avoid the dangers of an overturned candle starting a fire. This is especially important if you have cats who are infamous for knocking over candles with their tails.
  • Extinguish All Flames Before Leaving the House: Make sure that all fires from candles, stoves, cookware, or fireplaces are fully extinguished before you leave the home.
  • Keep Pets Secure: When you leave the house, keep pets in one area of the home where they are safe from accidentally starting fires. This is especially true for young pets.
  • Secure Loose Wires: Some pets like to gnaw on wires which could injure your pet and potentially start a fire.
  • Never Use Glass Water Bowls on a Wood Deck: Glass can act as a magnifying glass from the sun's rays, if your pet is going to be outside and needs potable water, use a ceramic or stainless-steel bowl.

Preparing for a Fire

While not all fires are preventable it is important for you and your family to have a plan and prepare for an emergency. This plan should include all members of your family including your pets.
  • Create an Escape Plan: Everyone should know at least two exits out of the house to safety.
  • Pick a Meeting Point: Choose a location that is far enough away from your house, but easy for everyone to get to and remember, such as a mailbox or a neighbor's house.
  • Invest in Monitored Smoke Detectors: These smoke detectors will automatically alert the authorities whether the fire occurs when you are home or not.
  • Assign Duties: Pick one person to be in charge of getting your pet out of your home. This can help avoid confusion in an emergency when speed and efficiency are paramount.
Note: NEVER DELAY YOUR ESCAPE OR ENDANGER YOURSELF OR A FAMILY MEMBER TO RESCUE YOUR PET
  • Be Observant: Note your pet's favorite spots both when they are comfortable and when they are scared. This will make it easier for you or a firefighter to find them in the case of an emergency.
  • Keep Pets Close to Exits: When you leave home make sure your pets are near exits whether that is in a crate or blocked off via baby gates.
  • Store Leashes Near a Door: Keep all your pet's equipment, especially for dogs, in one location and near to the door. This will help expedite your exit.
  • Update All Your Pets Information: Make sure that your dogs and cats have updated tags and their microchip information is current and accurate.
  • Help Your Firefighters: Put a window cling up that lets firefighters know how many and what type of pets you have in your home.

During a Fire
 

If a fire does occur in your home, your number one job is to get you and your family out of the house safely.
  • Attempt to grab your pet on the way out of the door, but again do not delay your exit to save your pet
  • Immediately call for help by contacting the local fire department or police.
  • Grab leashes or carriers on your way out. Pets may become scared and try to run off. Secure them the best you can.
  • Never go back inside a burning building. Once you have exited safely do not go back into your house. Let firefighters know if someone from your family, humans or pets, is still inside.

Get more home tips like these when you become a member of vipHomeLink. Our desktop solution and mobile App help homeowners know what to do and when to do it with vipTIPS and scheduled maintenance reminders. It also helps you upload documents for safe, online storage in one easy to access location. Learn more at viphomelink.com.


For my tips about how to keep your pet safe, check out the American Humane site here​

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