National Pet Fire Safety Day, on July 15th, is a national holiday dedicated to spreading awareness on how leaving pets home alone can lead to potential risks related to house fires. 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year, with 1,000 house fires started by pets themselves, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Image Source: American Humane
How can pets start fires?
A stove or cooktop is the number-one cause of fires started by pets, as they may play with stove knobs while you’re away. Electrical cords can also be damaged by your dog or cat chewing, leading to sparking and electrocution or a fire.
How to Prevent Your Pet From Starting a Fire:
1. Supervise Open Flames
With stovetops being the most common source of home fires, all stoves should be turned off while you’re away from home. Candles and fireplaces are also among the most common sources of home fires. Pets may knock over a candle, allowing flames to jump to a flammable agent such as curtains. If you leave home, make sure to extinguish all flames.
2. Fire-Proof Your Home
Electrical fires start as cats often chew on loose wires, posing an electrocution and fire hazard. Be sure to hide all wires behind furniture and secure all lamps, which can be knocked over by a climbing cat or running dog. On the stove, attach covers on knobs so they can’t be turned on accidentally by counter-surfing pets.
How do I get my pet out of a fire?
Make sure your pet has proper identification (ie. collar with ID tag, microchip), and leashes or carriers in an easy-to-access spot near the exit so you can grab them on your way out. Also place “pet alert” stickers in your windows so neighbors or firefighters can save your pets if you’re not home.
Make a Fire-Preparedness Plan:
1. Install Smoke Detectors
It’s always important to install and check smoke detectors regularly to ensure they’re functional with working batteries. A fire alarm can be what saves your pets while you’re sleeping or away from home.
2. Enable Furbo Home Emergency Alerts
Furbo Dog Camera’s Home Emergency Alerts notify you the instant an alarm is triggered in your house. If your pets are home alone, you can view the Furbo live feed to ensure your pets are safe and to assess the emergency remotely. The Furbo will also begin Cloud Recording video to capture the emergency in case your home loses wi-fi network connectivity.
Kylee discovered her house up in flames after opening the Furbo app to check on her furbaby, Kato. She said, “If I hadn't have checked the Furbo we would have been too late. We would have lost our babies and our home.”
3. Create a Pet Alert Window Sticker
On July 15th, you can get a free pet alert sticker at local volunteer firehouses and from the ASPCA. In the event you’re not home when a fire breaks out, this sticker helps firefighters save time when locating your pets. You can create your own stickers or purchase them online to place on windows at entrances to your house.
Image Source: IHeartDogs
4. Keep Pets Near Entrances
When you’re not home, keep your pets confined to a space that is near an entry/exit point, which will greatly increase the chances of them being rescued. Keep their leashes near the door—if you’re home when a fire breaks out, you will be able to lead them out safely. Rescuers may also be able to grab the leashes and use them to help keep your pets from running away once outside.
5. Create a Plan and Practice It
Creating a fire safety plan is critical in case a fire breaks out while you are home. Identify exit points for every room of the house. Make sure all members of the household have practiced safely evacuating your pet.
6. Update Your Pet’s Identification
In case your panicked animal runs away from your home, rescuers, or you during the chaos of a fire, chances of having them returned to you are greatly increased if your pet is microchipped. Also be sure that the ID tag on your furbaby’s collar has up-to-date contact information.
7. Enable Furbo Barking, Howling, and Crying Alerts
Furbo Dog Camera’s new Continuous Barking, Howling, and Crying alerts give detailed notifications to your phone, so you can find out about emergencies as soon as they happen.
Kobe called for his owners’ help by barking when the carbon monoxide alarm in their house was going off. The Furbo heard Kobe barking and howling and sent Smart Alerts to his mom’s phone, prompting her to send a family member to save him.