May is National Pet Month, a time when the benefits of pets are celebrated. We all love our furry family members and want to keep them as safe as possible. While National Pet Month focuses on promoting responsible pet ownership and fundraising for the care of domesticated animals without homes, the observance is also a great reminder to consider your pet’s home fire safety.
Pets and wild animals have a part in starting about 700 home fires per year. Roughly three-quarters of those fires were started by cooking equipment, fireplaces or chimneys, lighting, or candles. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to minimize those risks. Check out our safety tip sheet on preventing fires with pets in the household.
Also, in the event that a home fire, keep these guidelines in mind:
- As you exit your home, safely escort your pet outside only if you’re able to safely and swiftly do so. If you don’t see your pet as you exit your home, or if it resists your guidance to the outside, continue to get out as quickly as possible.
- If you think your pet may be trapped inside your home, don’t go back inside to rescue him/her! Tell the fire department where you think your pet might be. REMEMBER: Firefighters are equipped and trained to go inside a burning building – you’re not!
- Pets can be quite resourceful in a fire situation and may be able to escape on their own. In fact, news stories have reported on tragic incidents where a resident re-enters the home to save a pet and becomes trapped inside, when the pet has already escaped.