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Breed & Health Resources

Pet Fire Safety: 6 Fire Prevention Tips for Pet Parents

By Lea Jaratz

corgi sitting by window with lit candles

Let me tell you about an eye-opening experience we had with our first dog. He was a notorious trash can tipper, so we’d often leave tempting items up out of reach until we could take the garbage to the can outside. One night, we were heading out for a date after finishing up some leftovers and left the empty take-out containers on the back of the stove. We pulled out of the driveway but my husband forgot something and had to go back inside. Fortunately, he went into the kitchen just in time to see the stove burner turned on with the containers tipping toward them. Dumpster dog had tried to jump up on the stove to get them and turned the knob that lit the burner. We cleaned up the containers, took the knobs off the stove, and went back out, stunned by the good fortune we’d had to avoid a house fire – and possibly the loss of our (albeit naughty) dog.

Fire prevention is as necessary with pets as it is with little kids. Since that near miss, we’ve had time to do more fire prevention work in our home and I want to share some of the fire safety tips for pets:

1. Smoke Detectors Save Lives

Even if you’re not home, neighbors may hear smoke detectors and can save property and lives in the event of a fire. Be sure to have one on every floor and outside of every sleeping area. Once a month, dust them and test the batteries. Replace the batteries yearly. You might consider upgrading to one of the new models that includes batteries that are guaranteed for 10 years.

2. Use Fire Prevention Tools

Even you don’t have kids, it never hurts to install safety locks on the stove knobs, or pull them off if you have a pet who can access the kitchen.

3. Use Caution with Candles & Portable Heaters

If it can get hot and your pet can tip it, make sure to turn it off or extinguish it. Never leave a candle or flame unattended. Make sure to unplug space heaters, hair dryers, curling irons, and other warm electronics when you’re not using them.

4. Secure Young Pets

Keep puppies and kittens in safe rooms when they’re not supervised. The likelihood they’ll chew an electrical cord or cause a fire in another way when unsecured is much higher, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

5. Smoke Safely

Smoking materials are the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the U.S. Not only is second hand smoke harmful to your pets, but it is more likely to start a fire if you smoke indoors. Never smoke in bed, when you’re drowsy, or if anyone in the home uses oxygen.

6. Include Your Pet in the Escape Plan

Practice calling to your pet (and reward them when they come) to include them in your family’s escape plan. Be prepared to take them to a safe space if needed. But never delay your escape in an effort to save your pet. Let emergency personnel know or place notice stickers on the doors.

Keeping your pet safe in the event of a fire is important, and preventing the fire in the first place is the best way to start things off on a safe foot.

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Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2020 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.  Wellness Rewards not available in Rhode Island.