A pet owner’s worst nightmare is the prospect of cute-dogs or cats, finding your beloved four legged friend killed or injured in a home fire. All pet owners know just how much effort and work it takes to provide the furry friends with the proper care and safety they deserve. Responsibility that comes with caring for our four legged friends doesn’t stop even after leaving home. Since many fire accidents happen when pets are left at home alone, it’s essential to fully pet proof your home while also putting in place home pet fire safety measures. Here are some home pet fire safety tips;
Just like people, our beloved four legged friends are susceptible to serious injuries and even death from fires and smoke inhalation. Keeping your home fireproofed and ensuring your pets are properly contained in certain areas of your house, will help prevent home fires; in addition, in the event of a fire, you will be able to save your pet’s life.
Prevent your pet from starting a fire; pets are usually drawn to the flickering candles just like moths are drawn to a flame. Apart from the risk of getting burned, your pets may start a home fire if they happen to accidentally knock over a candle. Hence, you should never leave any lit candles unattended, more so, if the candles are within your pet’s reach. You should also be very careful with space heaters and halogen lamps which can easily start a home fire if they get knocked over by your pet’s wagging tail.
Be mindful of any dangling electrical cords which can electrocute or strangle your pet if chewed upon. Any damaged or chewed electrical cords should be immediately replaced since they pose a great fire hazard.
Never leave any open flames unattended; Pets are naturally curious and tend to investigate cooking appliances, lanterns, stoves and even the fires in the fireplace. It’s crucial to make sure that your pet isn’t left unattended near open flames. Also ensure all fires are fully extinguished before leaving the house.
Identify all potential risks and pet proof your house. Some potential risks include; loose wires, dangling electrical cords, stove knobs, and other such potential fire hazards. Your pet can accidentally turn on a stove knob which can in turn lead to a house fire. Make sure you protect all the stove knobs from getting activated while you’re away.
Keep your pets near entrances; Before you leave your pet(s) at home alone, it’s recommended you keep them somewhere near the entrance where it’s easy for firefighters to find them. You should also write down the number of pets you have inside your home, and then put up the sticker for firefighters.
When leaving home, make sure you leave young pets like, kittens and puppies in a comfortable crate so as to avoid potential risks like, chewing wires and other potential hazards, while you’re away.
Practice family escape routes in case of a fire; All families should repeatedly practice exactly how they’d escape from a house in case of a fire outbreak, under different situations. When running drills, make sure you designate someone who will be responsible for evacuating the pet(s) from the house. You can also train your dog to understand the meaning of a smoke alarm going off by continually doing drills of the smoke alarm going off, and then involving your dog in your family escape plan.
Consider installing monitored smoke detectors that are connected to the monitoring center. A monitoring system will be able to alert both you, and the nearest fire station, in case of a fire outbreak. These monitoring systems offer an added level of protection.
Pets normally react to fire by getting traumatized or scared. A pet can start urinating and defecating on the floor or scratching and biting people. If this happens, you need to be comforting to your pets by providing them with tender loving care while helping them understand that all is well again.
Never bring a pet inside a home until all the smoke has cleared, and the fire damage has been fully repaired.
What To Do if Your Home Is On Fire
If there is heavy smoke in the room, you should crawl towards the closest exit in your escape plan because smoke and gasses collect towards the roof and ceiling.
Leave the house very quickly when you hear the smoke alarm going off, because fire spreads very quickly, and you may only have a few minutes to escape.
If you see smoke blocking an exit, use another exit.
Smoke is toxic, but if you have no other option but to go through it, stay as low as possible.
Before opening a door during a fire, quickly touch the doorknob and the door. If either one of them is hot, keep the door closed and find another exit.
What To do After The Fire
After the fire, the next step is picking up the pieces and moving on with your life. To do so, there are a few things that you need to take care of.
- You need to get in touch with a relief service, like The Red Cross, which can help you with your housing, food, or medical needs.
- If your home was insured, you need to let your insurance company know about the situation so you can start rebuilding. If you didn’t insure your home, you should try to find organizations that can provide you with some assistance.
- Ask your fire department if you can enter your home, and you should watch out for structural damages due to the fire if you enter the house.
- Make an inventory of your damaged property.
- Try to find your important documents and records.
- If you aren’t going to be in your home, let the police department know it is unoccupied to keep people out of it.
- Contact the IRS to learn about the benefits the government has for people that are suffering losses because of fires.
- FEMA 2012 National Fire Protection Association Estimates
- FEMA 2004 Fire Risk
- Kids Health Fire Safety
- New York Health Children’s Fire Injury Prevention (by age)
- gov Fire Safety for Kids
- Sparky the Fire Dog
- Minneapolis Kids’ Fire Safety Resources
- Tips in Preparing Children to Escape Fire
- Preparing a Home Fire Escape Plan
- Talking about Fire Safety with Your Children
- APA: Recovering emotionally after a residential fire
- Residential fires
- Helping Children Cope with Disasters
- Helping Children Cope with Disaster: A Child’s Reaction to Disaster by Age
- How to Help Children Cope Following a Disaster
- Safety Tips for the Seniors/Disabled
- Senior Fire and Burn Safety
- Senior Fire Safety
- Older Ohioan Fire Safety Tips
- Fire Safety for Seniors
- Emergency Plan Considerations for Senior Citizens
- Elderly Disaster Care
- Pet Fire Safety
- Five Fire Safety Tips for People with Pets
- Fire Prevention Week 2010: Your Guide to Pets and Fire Safety