Fire Safety Tips for Dog Owners
The United States Fire Administration found that house fires affect 500,000 pets annually, with about 1,000 of the incidents being caused by pets themselves. Many of these fires are easily preventable, which is why July 15th has been named National Pet Fire Safety Day to focus on helping pet owners prevent fires and plan for emergencies.
Even a small fire can cause a ripple of unforeseen events. Integrate these practices into your life to reduce the risk of a house fire, respond effectively in an emergency, and keep your pets out of harm’s way.
Common Danger Sources
Having a dog is a lot like having a child. Many otherwise innocuous features of your home could be dangerous for an unsupervised or untrained pet. Make sure to keep an eye out for the following potential safety issues:
- Open Flames. Never leave an open flame unattended. Pets are naturally curious and unable to understand the risks of fire. A bumped candle or spilled grease can quickly become a devastating incident. In addition, secure your fireplace properly. A stray spark can easily ignite nearby rug or dog bed. Avoid placing fabric items near a fireplace, and consider a glass fireplace guard to keep embers in their place.
- Stove Knobs. Some curious pets are surprisingly able to turning knobs. Stow all stove knobs in a drawer when they are not in use or use knob safety covers.
- Electrical Cords. It is common for dogs to mistake a tangle of electrical wires for a chew toy. Bind cords together and secure them out of sight.
- Glass Bowls. A glass water bowl left in the sun can act as a magnifying glass and focus the sun’s rays into a hot beam. The heat could easily start a fire on a wood deck not properly treated with flame retardants. Use a plastic or metal bowl instead.
Pet-Proofing Your Home
Young dogs are much more likely to get into mischief than are their elders. If you’re planning to leave them alone in the house longer than a few minutes, consider a crate or pet-proofed room to keep them out of trouble. For longer trips, consider boarding them at a reputable kennel.
Fire Alert Window Decals
Fire alert window decals are simple handy stickers to let first responders know how many pets are in and where they may be located in the home. This will help fire personnel rescue your frightened or unconscious pet.
Fire Evacuation Plan
Have a fire evacuation plan and practice getting your pets out of harm’s way. Knowing what each family member’s responsibility will be can help help tremendously in an emergency. As part of your plan, make sure that you have leash and collars placed near doors or other exits. If you need to leave your home in an emergency, it will help to have pet gear handy and close to a safe exit.
Think about how your dog would behave in an emergency. It isn’t uncommon for dogs to get nervous during emergency situations, and your dog could easily run off. If your dog isn’t microchipped (and they should be!), make sure they have proper identification on their collars.
You never know when an emergency will strike, and you never know how your dog will react to an unexpected disaster. Make sure you have Canine Liability Insurance for all of life’s unexpected occurrences.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.