Today is the third annual National Pet Fire Safety Day. I am embarrassed to admit that even though I am a firefighter’s wife and our dogs, cats, and bird are all important parts of our family, this is the first year I was aware of this observation.
According to data from the National Fire Prevention Association, almost 1,000 house fires annually are accidentally started by pets (I would certainly hope that beloved house pets aren’t starting fires on purpose rather than by accident). I’m a big believer in crates, kennels, and gates to help keep pets out of the kitchen and away from other possible danger sources when no one is home to monitor what they are doing, but I can totally understand how these accidents happen. We have been very lucky in that most of our pets have not been counter surfers. But among the many “Heidi stories” that we laugh at now, but were not quite as funny then, is the time she turned on the oven, then barked to alert us that something might be on fire. Fortunately, we were home at the time, nothing did catch on fire, and the oven was on for less than 15 minutes total.
In addition to the obvious tips about stove knobs, candles, and other open flames, one of the things mentioned in the article is something I would have never thought of in a million years: a glass water bowl on a wooden deck, magnifying the sun’s rays and possibly starting a fire.
Another important topic is planning for your pets’ safe escape or rescue in case of a house fire by having collars and leashes easily accessible to you or rescuers, and a window cling to show the number of pets in your home.
I was hoping to end this with a cute video of Freya or Axel demonstrating “stop, drop, and roll” for you all, but we’re still working on “roll.” Who knew they wouldn’t want to roll on cue?
(NaBloPoMo | July ’10: 15 of 31)