Fire safety for pets

Fires are wonderful…but only when contained in a warm hearth or when burning on the tip of a candle (even then, with pets around the house, you might want to reconsider having real candles at all). But pets and fire are a bad mix, no matter which way you look at it. If you’re going to have any source of fire around your home (or campsite, or wherever you may be), you should take certain precautions to ensure that they aren’t harmed by the flame–or possibly turn a cozy situation into an emergency that threatens your whole family and home.

Let’s start with what we just talked about: candles. There are many authentic-looking candles on the market today that are totally safe alternatives to real ones. There are those that even provide scents for the home, if that’s what you like to burn them for. And it’s not just for pet safety, but if you have kids at home as well, any real candles should be kept far and away from grasping hands. It’s easy for dogs and cats to knock over a burning candle with their tails, and cats in particular can reach candles that are placed in out-of-the-way spots. If you must burn candles, never leave your pet alone with them, and make sure they are snuffed as soon as you need to leave them unattended. This goes the same for any open flame, such as one in the fireplace.

Do you have glass water or food bowls? Don’t ever put them outside, like on a patio or deck, especially wooden ones. It’s entirely possible they can refract sunlight like a magnifying glass and cause a fire to start.

What about if a fire breaks at in your home? Obviously, you should already have a smoke detector installed. Have a sticker on several prominent windows alerting any emergency response teams that pets are inside. And it can be helpful to keep your pets in a crate or kennel near the front door whenever you leave them alone, so they can be more easily rescued in case of an emergency.┬áIf a fire starts when the family is at home, you can be prepared. It’s wise to have the whole family informed of a fire evacuation plan to get everyone to safety, and you can easily include pets in that plan.

Do you have fire hazards around your home? How do you ensure that your pets don’t get hurt when open flames are involved? And do you have a fire evacuation plan in place that includes everyone, including your four-legged family members?

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