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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Pet Fire Safety - MN Vet


Thanks to a joint effort by ADT Security Services and the American Kennel Club (AKC) several years ago, July 15 is official Pet Fire Safety Day. Representatives from both organizations felt alarmed at the statistics indicating pets start at least 1,000 fires in the home each year. Nearly a half-million pets sustain injury in house fires whether they started them or not. Sadly, around 40,000 pets lose their lives each year due to smoke inhalation, burns, and other consequences of home fires. 

How to Prevent Your Pet from Starting a Fire in the Home

Although all homes should have working smoke detectors on each level, this only notifies you of a fire already in progress. It’s far better to prevent the home fire in the first place by taking a few precautionary steps. For example, never allow your dog or cat near an outdoor grill. If you enjoy cooking outdoors, your pet should remain inside until you finish. After preparing food on the grill, extinguish all flames and make sure the unit has cooled down before putting it away. Some other things that can prevent pets from starting fires include:

  • Store any item that requires using heat such as a heating pad, clothes iron, or curling iron out of your pet’s reach. 
  • Consider using battery-powered candles rather than candles that produce a burning flame. If you don’t want to do that, make sure you watch your pet closely around a burning candle. Always check to ensure that you have blown out the flame completely before putting the candle away.
  • Measure the distance between the floor and the burners on your stove to see if it would be possible for your dog to bump a knob to the on position when standing on his hind legs. A curious cat may also jump up on the stove to sniff the food you’re cooking. Sadly, she could burn herself severely in the process. 
  • Check with ADT or AKC about a free cling-on you can put on the window near your front door that alerts firefighters to the presence of pets inside.

Make Sure You Can Escape a Fire Quickly with Your Pet

No one likes to think something as dramatic as a home fire will happen to them. However, it’s better to prepare for the possibility than be left in a panic if it does occur. At Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, we recommend making a disaster plan and practicing it regularly with your family. It should include provisions for your pet, including how you will get him out of the house.

Our staff is happy to help you come up with more tips for keeping your pets safe from fire and other hazards around the home during her next preventive care exam. We look forward to helping you and your pet have a safe and happy summer

Image Credit: Pixabay