July 15th may seem like any other ordinary day of the year but did you know it's recognized as National Pet Fire Safety Day? The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services launched the nationwide pet safety awareness program in 2009 and has since educated pet owners about potential safety risks that could happen when pets are home alone.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the United States respond to an average of 366,600 home fires per year and research points out that cooking equipment is the leading cause. But did you know that these fires aren't all caused by humans? Data from NFPA shows that nearly 1,000 fire incidents are started by the homeowner's pets and approximately 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires in general. With these statistics in mind, pet parents need to take some precautionary actions to ensure their pets are safe.
National Pet Safety Day is aimed to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership and how pet parents can plan for unexpected emergencies by enacting preventative measures that include ways to promote safety in the event of a house fire. When The American Kennel Club conducted a study with pet owners, 88% of them considered their pets to be beloved and valued family members, making National Pet Fire Safety Day even more important. Check out some tips that can improve your pets' safety when you aren't home!
- Pet Proof: Inspect you home for areas where pets may inadvertently might start fires – conceal loose wires, secure stove knobs, do not leave any items on kitchen counters near stove burners, keep flammable items away from fireplaces and any other hazards that could initiate a fire.
- Double Check: Every time you are preparing to leave you home, double check every single room and be sure to extinguish anything with a flame – candles, fireplaces, kitchen appliances, etc.
- Monitoring System: It's obvious that you should have smoke alarms affixed in multiple areas of your home, but if you should take it another step further by having a monitoring system connected to the smoke alarms. This way, any kind of potential fire could be immediately addressed before it gets out of control.
- Supplies: You should be sure your pets have collars with tags and if you have a dog, have leashes near exits. These dog supplies will help firefighters identify and handle any animals you have in your home in the event of a fire. Additionally, have a window cling on one of the front windows of your home that states how many pets you have inside. Firefighters are familiar with these signs and it'll give them a better idea of how to rescue them.
- Practice: A house fire can occur at any time, whether you are home or not, and you should practice an evacuation route with your pets if the need to escape ever arises.
Mark your calendars on July 15th as National Pet Fire Safety Day to serve as a reminder but be sure to keep these preventative measures in mind all year long!