Did you know that about half a million pets are affected by fires in their homes and that about 1,000 of those fires are accidentally caused by a dog or cat? This alarming statistic was the catalyst for the creation of National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15 and prompted the following tips to protect yourselves and your pets from harm:


Monitor open flames: Be sure that you keep any open flames – from stovetops to fireplaces to candles – outside of the reach of your pet or children. A wagging tail, and the excitement causing it, is an easy cause for tipping over lit candles or flipping papers into a fireplace. Never leave open flames unattended.

Use flameless candles: You can still create the warm glow of a real candle from these low-light bulbs that are becoming more and more popular.

Pet/baby-proof your stove knobs: Human and pet kids can easily turn on the stove knobs by accident. This is the number one place for starting house fires.

Use non-glass bowls on a wooden deck: Leaving a glass bowl of water on a wood deck is asking for trouble. The sunlight streaming through the glass acts as a magnifying glass, which could heat up and ignite a fire. Use stainless steel or ceramic pet bowls instead.

Contain your puppies with a crate or baby gate: Whenever you’re out of the room, keep your curious young pets in a secure place where they can’t get into household items that can easily start a fire.

Install a monitored smoke detector: Battery-operated smoke alarms are great for alerting you to a fire when you are home, but a monitored smoke alarm system will alert emergency responders even if you’re not there.

Use a pet alert window cling: Keep an updated sticker on your front door to alert firefighters to the number of four-legged family members reside in your home.

Make it easy for rescue workers: Keep your pet collars and leashes near the front entrance to help firefighters rescue your pets quickly. Also, keep your pets in rooms close to the front door.

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