Pet Fire Safety

While you might not think that pets have much to do with fire safety, an astonishing 1,000 fires are started by pets each year, with another half-million pets being affected by home fires.

As dog lovers, here are our top tips to help prevent fires and to be prepared in the event of a fire:

  • If your dog is tall enough to get to your countertop, monitor your stove closely and ensure that it’s off after you’re done the cooking. You may even consider keeping the stove knobs off when you’re not in the kitchen so that your dog can’t accidentally turn on the stove.
  • Regularly check your home for fire hazards (such as unattended burning candles, burdened electrical connections, lighting/appliance malfunctions, etc.) and make sure your fire alarms are activated.
  • Keep a collar on your dog with your updated contact information at all time. In the event of a fire, if your dog gets lost, someone can easily contact you based on the tag.
  • Taking your dog to a familiar area when evacuating should be part of your family crisis plan that you put together in advance. (Download “How to Make a Home Fire Escape Plan” from the National Fire Protection Agency.)
  • Keep a sticker in your home’s window that calls out the number of humans and pets in your household so firefighters know who may be inside in the event of a fire.
  • If you use space heaters, don’t let your dogs get in the habit of snuggling up to them as they are a fire hazard. Space heaters should be three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Keep several fire extinguishers throughout your household.

Stay safe this holiday season and consider taking some of these precautionary measures so that you and your dog are safe if you’re faced with a fire.


By Kelly R. Wilson, DVM

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