Pet fire safety

Pet Fire Safety

National Pet Fire Safety Day takes place every year on July 15. It’s a day to learn how to keep your pet safe during a fire. Pets are part of the family, so it makes sense that we would dedicate a day to keeping them safe during one of the scariest situations we can imagine.

It is important to have a plan for your pets and your entire family, along with making your home “fire safe” for everyone! Make sure you have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to protect your whole family. Take these eight additional steps to help keep your pets safe:

1. Prevention:

Never leave your pets unattended around an open flame such as a candle or fireplace. Consider replacing your candles with flameless ones. If your dog knocks it over or your cat’s tail brushes it, they’ll be safe. They offer the same ambiance as a real candle, with fewer hazards. It may be best to eliminate the unnecessary open flames in your home entirely.

If you have a fireplace, be sure to watch your pets around them. Most will stay away, but some are curious and may get too close. Toys or other flammable items can accidentally be pushed too close to a fire which could quickly ignite.

2. Keep Your Pets Away From Hazards:

Cooking equipment is a major cause of pet-originated fires. Pets who jump on counters can hit a stove knob, turning the gas on or turning up a flame. If you have a curious pet or one who climbs on top of your counters, consider using knob covers or remove the knobs when you are not around to monitor your pet safely. Keep young or untrained pets away from potential hazards by crating them or securing them in a safe area with a baby gate.

If you know your pet tends to chew on things, make sure to hide loose wires that could potentially cause a fire, and turn them off and unplug them entirely when they are not in use.

3. Make Sure Emergency Responders Know You Have Pets:

A pet alert sign near each entrance to your home is an important pet fire safety step. It tells emergency responders that one or more pets are in your home and might need help. If you crate pets when you are away or sleeping, keep them near a door, so it’s easy for firefighters to find them after entering your home. You can also keep your leashes by the front entrance so they’re visible to first responders who may enter.

4. Make A Pet Fire Safety Evacuation Plan:

Every family should have a fire evacuation plan and do a practice fire drill at least twice a year. Include your pets in your fire evacuation plan and have leashes or carriers at easy access.

5. Consider Monitored Smoke Detectors:

For pet fire safety you may want to think about upgrading your smoke detectors. Consider using monitored smoke detectors. They are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home or at least send your phone a notification.

6. Know Where Your Pet Is Likely To Hide:

In case of a fire, your pet will probably be scared, especially if a loud fire alarm goes off. Know where your pet is likely to hide inside your home.

Unfortunately, if you can’t find them quickly, get outside and leave the door open for your pets to follow. Call for them to help them find their way and let firefighters know that pets are still inside.

7. Make Sure Pets Aren’t Lost During Evacuation:

A fire is a scary situation, and pets may run off. Another important pet fire safety step is ensuring your pets have a microchip before an emergency and that the information on the chip is up to date.

8. After A Fire, Watch Your Pet Closely:

If your pet acts lethargic or has trouble breathing, it could be a sign of smoke inhalation. See your veterinarian as soon as possible for any needed follow-up care.

Following these tips could help you prevent a fire or even save your pet’s life if an emergency occurs. Preparing ahead of time for pet fire safety can go a long way toward reducing risk. Spend some time this week developing your pet fire safety plan!

Sources: Pet Fire Safety: 8 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe (

Susan Wells

Store Manager, Bridgewater NS