We want to protect our families from the devastating effects of a fire. We do everything we can to prevent a fire from happening, and prepare should the worse ever happen.
But pets are also an important part of our families, and it’s estimated that around half of households in the UK own a pet.
In 2013-14, there were nearly 40,000 house fires. And that potentially means a lot of pets were caught up in fires.
We’re a nation of pet lovers and would be heartbroken if something happened to our furry friends, so we need to be on top of pet fire safety.
As pet owners, it is our responsibility to ensure we’re doing everything possible to keep them safe as well, and that includes reducing the chances of them starting a fire themselves too.
Preventing Pets From Starting A Fire
When you’re not at home, you have no idea what your pets are up to. And pets with a curious nature are capable of starting a fire accidentally.
There have been a number of incidents where this has happened, including a Pug who set fire to the family home, for the second time, after jumping up on the work surface.
Petproofing is just as important as childproofing. Not only are you protecting them from coming to harm, but also from causing it. For example, baby gates are a great method of keeping them away from potential hazards.
With the stove and oven, you can invest in knob covers which stop them from being turned on by accident. But also keeping these areas clear of flammable materials will reduce the risk of fire if they are activated by accident.
Also, watch out for other hazards in your pet’s reach.
Be wary of lamps which could get knocked over, items kept near to radiators, and portable heaters. Flammable materials which heat up may combust when they reach a certain temperature. These are risky with a pet running around, particularly with an over-enthusiastic tail.
Plus some pets may find a cable irresistible to chew.
And when lighting candles, pay attention to where you’re placing them and make sure you fully extinguish them. Don’t leave candles burning unattended as anything could happen when your back is turned. You could even consider battery candles which are highly unlikely to cause a fire if knocked.
Turning off all electrical appliances and devices when you’re asleep or away from home reduces the likelihood of a fire starting. Switching gadgets off and not leaving washing machines and tumble dryers running are good fire safety tips, even when you don’t have a pet.
Keeping Pets Safe In A House Fire
Not only do humans need emergency exit routes, but so do your four-legged friends.
When shutting them away in a room, think about how they might get out in the event of a fire. Pet doors and flaps are a great solution.
Also, choose rooms which are close to an entry door so they can quickly be rescued during a fire. That gives them, plus the person who has gone to get them, the best chance of survival.
When there’s a fire, they’re likely to be by the door waiting to run out as soon as it’s opened, which is also an advantage of making sure they’re always wearing their collar as they can easily be identified if found.
Having a way of fighting a fire in the home, such as an extinguisher or blanket, means you can act to stop a fire in its earlier stages. They are also handy to have with you as you try to rescue your pets.
But once you’re out of your burning home, stay out. Don’t go back in to collect valuables or save pets. Stay safe and call the fire brigade instead.
That said, by preventing a fire from occurring in the first place, you’ll reduce the likelihood of anyone coming to any danger.