If you have a pet, extra consideration is needed when taking precautionary measures for maintaining good fire safety. Accidents can easily happen and no one wants their canine companion, feline friend or reptilian roommate to be the cause, or bear the consequences, of a fire disaster. To help you keep your pets and property as safe as possible, we have compiled some useful fire safety tips for pet owners.
Don’t leave pets alone with flames
Remember to always extinguish any candles when you leave the room, especially when you have curious pets around who could easily knock one over. This similarly applies to all open flames, such as in fireplaces. Portable heaters shouldn’t be left on whilst you’re out of the house either due to the risk of them being overturned and/or starting a fire.
Turn off the cooker
When you are out of the house, make sure your cooker is turned off at the wall – it is surprisingly easy for a pet to accidentally turn a dial which could turn on the appliance. This is especially relevant if you have cats that like to climb. If you want to be extra safe and it’s possible for your cooker, you could remove the dials when you’re out of the house.
Out of reach
Try and keep potential fire hazards out of reach for your pet as much as possible. Things like electrical wires, cables and flammable substances shouldn’t be left in the open for your pet to chew, pull, displace or damage.
What works when baby-proofing will often work for pet-proofing too. For example, equipment like baby gates can keep your pets in appropriate rooms while you’re out, and fire guards can prevent many fire-related pet accidents, especially with young animals.
One of the best, tried-and-tested fire safety measures you can take is making sure your fire alarm system is fully functioning, up to date and well maintained. You should at least check your alarms monthly to ensure the battery hasn’t run down.
Where possible, you should try to keep your pet in an easily accessible room whilst you are out of the house, i.e. one that is close to an exit. You can help achieve this with our baby-proofing point, whereby baby gates can be utilised to keep your pet to one room/within a specific area. This way, if a fire should start, your pet will be easily found and have a swift exit when the fire service arrives.
Display a pet alert
Consider displaying a pet alert window cling sign where it’s easily visible, near your door. The sign can provide information to the fire service if you’re out on how many pets are in the property and where they are, making their job quicker and easier.
Make your pet identifiable
It is likely your pet will be scared if a fire occurs and it’s not unusual for them to try and run away from the scene. If this does happen, you will want your pet to be identifiable so whoever finds them knows who to contact. Make sure your pet wears a collar with up to date contact information and, where appropriate, is microchipped.
In the unfortunate event of a fire, your home may not be fit for your pet to return immediately, in which case you need to have somewhere safe they can stay. The house of a family member or friend or animal boarding service can all provide suitable temporary arrangements for your pet to ensure their safety after an emergency.
Checks and reintroduction
Post-fire, you want to make sure that if your pet needs medical attention, they get it. Burns will need to be treated quickly by a vet. Additionally, be aware that animals can also suffer from smoke inhalation – a vet can determine whether this is an issue for your pet.
When your home is safe again for your pet to return, they may be a bit wary. Reassurance, time, treats and company will likely remedy any reluctant initial behaviour.
By putting these relatively simple steps in place, you can really help increase awareness and fire safety with pets around.
Protect & Detect are experts in fire safety and endeavour to make sure your property meets high fire safety standards by providing reliable fire safety systems, equipment and risk assessments. We can offer a variety of products and services to commercial and domestic properties throughout Ipswich, Colchester and Norwich to help you meet fire safety regulations and prepare you well for any fire breakout. For further information about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.