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Headquarters Station - 816 E. Haley St. Midland, MI 48640  Phone:989-837-3410  Email: ccoughli@midland-mi.org

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Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

Promoting Pet Fire Safety

An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires. A recent data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association shows that nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by a homeowners’ pets.

The third annual National Pet Fire Safety Day is set for July 15, 2010. It’s designed to spread awareness about how to prevent pets from starting home fires and keep pets safe in the event of an emergency.

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has a listing of fire departments across the nation where pet owners can obtain a free pet alert window cling as part of National Pet Fire Safety Day. Visit the site to find a location closest to you. Clings are also free online at www.adt.com/pets and will be available in September 2010 at local AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events.

Simple preventative measures can mean the difference between life and death for four-legged friends. Check out the safety tips below to find out more.

Pet-Related Fire Safety Tips

  • Extinguish open flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.

  • Remove /cover stove knobs - Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. A stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in a pet starting a fire.

  • Invest in flameless candles – These contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle.

  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Don’t leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

  • Pet-proof the home - Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as loose wires and other potential hazards.

  • Keep pets near entrances when not home – When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.

  • Secure young pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home, such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

  • Practice escape routes involving pets – Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.

  • Consider using monitored smoke detection services – As an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms, smoke detectors connected to a monitoring center help save pets who can’t escape when left home alone.

  • Affix a pet alert window cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on the clings up-to-date.