According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires, and nearly 1,000 of these fires are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets.
In honor of National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15 and to help prevent fires and keep our pets safe, the American Kennel Club offers the following tips:
– Extinguish open flames. Dogs are curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles or even your fireplace. Do not allow your dog to be left unattended around an open flame, and make sure sources of heat are thoroughly extinguished before leaving your home.
– Remove stove knobs. A stove or cooktop is the piece of equipment most often involved when dogs start a fire. Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house.
– Try flameless candles. These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame and take the danger out of the ambience of candlelight.
– Keep dogs near exits. Keep collars on dogs and leashes ready in case firefighters need to rescue your dog in the event of an emergency. When leaving dogs home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near your home's exits where they can be easily found.
– Secure puppies. With young puppies, it is especially important to keep them confined and away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home. There are many options for safe, secure and comfortable crates and gates.
– Put a pet alert decal on a window. Write down the number of dogs inside your home and attach the static cling to a front-facing window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your dogs
For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at www.akc.org.