Pet Fire Safety Tips

Friday 15th July 2022

July 15th is Pet Fire Safety Day! Pet Fire Safety Day started in the late 2000s, aiming to make pet owners more mindful of fire related hazards in the home. Not only are pets often left in potentially life-threatening situations when house fires break out, but pets are also often responsible for accidentally causing the fires themselves.

How to prevent fires caused by pets:

- Use flameless candles instead of real ones. If you do go for real candles, make sure pets are never left alone with an open flame.

- If you have a fireplace, use a metal or heat-tempered glass screen and keep it in place.

- If your dog is large enough to reach the counter with its front paws, remove the knobs on stove switches before leaving the house.

- If your pet’s drinking bowl is on a wooden deck, stainless steel or ceramic bowls are best. It sounds like a myth, but glass bowls can and do cause fires when heated by the sun!

- Look out for loose electrical wires, especially if your pet is a chewer.

- If you are having a garden bonfire (e.g. on Guy Fawke's Night) make sure your pets are kept inside while you set up the bonfire and check the bonfire for animals hiding inside before lighting it.

How to keep pets safe in the event of a house fire:

- Be aware of where your pets tend to nap or hide so that you know where to look if you need to find them quickly.

- Provide pets with an escape route in case of fire, such as a pet door. Avoid locking pets away in a room where they have no escape option in case of emergency.

- Make sure your pet’s leads are in an easy-to-access place, as leashing your animal will help guide them to safety. Putting your animal in a travel crate can also be helpful for getting them out safely – however practise is needed beforehand.

- Consider installing monitored smoke detectors in your home so that somebody will be alerted if a fire does break out and nobody is at home.

- Window stickers that provide information on the type and number of pets inside can help alert firefighters to look for pets (and when they should stop).

- If a smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.

These tips are for preventing fires and for helping to get pets out when you are already inside. You should never go back inside to look for a pet once a fire has started, or otherwise put yourself in danger. You could become trapped or injured. The fire and rescue service are the best equipped to rescue your pets in the case of an emergency.