Fire Safety and Your Pet

Fires can happen anywhere, anytime and to any person. With proper education and a plan in place, any person can be prepared to keep their pet safe anytime and anywhere in the presence of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that approximately 1,000 house fires per year are caused by household pets.

Prevent opportunities for a pet to cause a fire.

  • Make sure to secure all cords/wires to prevent pets from chewing on them and resulting in exposed fire potential.
  • Candles in households with pets are a big fire potential. Many can be knocked over by a tail wagging. Make sure to never leave a candle burning without supervision. And ALWAYS blow out candles when leaving.
  • Many people don’t think about is covering the stove top. Cats love to jump up on things that are not ideal. Unknowingly a stove could be turned on or something could fall down into the eye increasing fire starting potential.

Have an evacuation plan in place. Families need a plan set in place that everyone in the house follows in the case of a fire. Consider these when making your own evacuation plan.

  • Designate responsibilities to certain people (gathering pets/emergency bag/medications/etc.).
  • Know your pet’s favorite hiding spots. Map them out and include those in multiple escape routes.
  • PRACTICE! Run mock fire drills and time how long it takes to get out safely.
  • Have an emergency kit that includes food, veterinary paperwork, and medications.
  • Always evacuate your pet either on a leash or in a carrier. Pets can panic and run away once outside.
  • For outside pets, make sure that pens/houses are clear of dry brush that could act like a fuel source. It is recommended to have a clearance of at least 20 feet.
  • If immediate evacuation is warranted, leave an outdoor door opened to allow an easy exit for trapped pets.
  • Alert firefighters to indoor pets. It is highly recommended to have stickers located on windows and/or doors near the bottom. The Waynesville Fire Department has these stickers available for free, just drop by any fire station and ask.

Fires occur every day and can result in major losses. With proper safety and preparations, planning ahead can help reduce the potential for loss or property or harm to your pet.