Did you know that 500,000 pets are affected by fires every year?* In fact, 1,000 of those pets accidentally caused the fire itself!** We’re taking a closer look at preventative steps you can take to get your furry best friend out of the house safe and sound.
Pet fire safety prevention tips
Keep electrical cords out of the way.
Curious pets may be tempted to chew on power cords, which can lead to electrical fires (and serious shocks to the chewer). Pet-proof your electrical cords by blocking access to them or securing them out of reach.
Keep pets away from open flames.
Fireplaces and gas-burning stoves may take the chill out of a cold day, but the smallest spark can cause big issues. Likewise, burning candles can attract our four-legged friends to investigate, so be sure to never leave flames unattended.
Remove knobs from ovens.
All it takes is one accidental bump or turn to create a fire. Simply remove the knobs from your stove before leaving your pet home alone.
Skip glass water bowls.
Glass bowls on a dry or chemically treated wood surface can act in the same way as a fire-starting magnifying glass: The sunlight travels through the glass, forming a narrow, concentrated source of heat. Opt for plastic or metal bowls instead.
Check smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms regularly.
Alarms are there for a reason, but because they don’t go off that often, we tend to forget about them. Check batteries regularly.
Rehearse evacuation plans with pets.
Establish primary and secondary emergency exits, keeping a spare leash, carrier, and food nearby for a swift exit. Holding an occasional fire drill will help the entire family know what to do. Check with relatives, friends, local kennels, your veterinarian and hotels so you have a safe, pet-friendly place to stay should an emergency occur.
Limit your pet’s domain.
Young puppies, in particular, have a knack for finding trouble. By confining pets to a crate or safe room near an exit, you’ll keep them away from potential fire-starting hazards as well as make them easy to save for rescue personnel.
Hang a pet rescue alert.
Hang important information regarding your pet in a prominent window or by an entryway. In the event you are not home, firefighters will know how many pets are inside, their names, the kind of pet they are and their favorite hiding spots.
Update tags and microchips.
If your pet manages to slip away during the chaos, they’ll have a better chance of being reunited with your family if tags and microchips are kept up to date.
Remember, the best way to help your pets through a fire emergency safely is to be prepared and stay calm. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health after a fire, contact your veterinarian.
Unfortunately, even the most prepared pet parents can still experience a house fire, as this tale from a Petplan-protected pup shows…
Home fire survival story
One Petplan-protected pooch was lucky enough to survive a house fire, but not before giving her parents quite the scare.
Knowing no one was home and Sugar† may be trapped inside, a brave neighbor kicked down the door to rescue the unresponsive pup. Sugar was rushed to an emergency clinic where she was treated for smoke inhalation. The ICU care along with the X-rays, lab work, medications, ointments, medical boarding fees and the daily examinations required to save Sugar came to a staggering total of $3,799!‡
With the help of pet insurance, Sugar’s family chose the best care without hesitation; they knew reimbursement was on the way, making it financially possible to say “yes” to everything their veterinarian recommended. In the end, Sugar’s family walked away with $2,674‡ in reimbursement, and most importantly, a recovered pup.
*According to the American Red Cross
**According to the National Fire Protection Association
†Name has been changed to protect the family’s privacy
‡According to Petplan claims data
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