According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires, and nearly 1,000 of these fires are accidentally started by the pets themselves.
To help prevent fires and keep our pets safe from this residential threat, the American Kennel Club offers the following tips:
• Extinguish open flames. Pets are curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles or even your fireplace. Don't allow your pet to be left unattended around an open flame, and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any flames before leaving your home.
• Remove stove knobs. Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house — a stove is piece of equipment most often involved in pet-related fires.
• Give flameless candles a try. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame and take the danger out of the ambience of candlelight. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails knock over lit candles.
• Keep pets near exits. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet in an emergency. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near your home’s exits where they can be easily found.
• Secure young pets. Especially with young puppies, it is important to keep them confined and away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home. There are many options for safe, secure, comfortable crates and gates.
• Hang a pet alert window cling. Write down the number of pets inside your home and attach the static cling to a front-facing window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.©2021 American Kennel Club. Visit at akc.org. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC