July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day, a day to prepare ourselves for fire emergencies involving our furry friends. Not until my dogs lit the backyard on fire with a Tiki torch did I wake up to how easy it is for a dog to get in trouble with fire. On this particular night, my two mixed breed dogs, Nika and Cain, were playfully jumping on each other when Nika backed into and bumped a burning torch into the grass. Luckily for my family, the dogs were being supervised so the flames were quickly extinguished and the dogs were safely taken from harm’s way.
To protect your canine companions and your home from accidental fire, I’ve compiled a short list of preventative actions you can do around your home.
1. In the Kitchen:
Food-driven dogs can climb or reach up and accidentally hit the stove knobs potentially making an extremely flammable situation. To prevent stovetop fires, remove stove knobs when not using the stove or invest in knob protectors (designed to keep young children from turning on knobs by accident) to protect our food motivated furry friends from their bacon reconnaissance.
2. In the Bedroom:
On colder days, keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could ignite, including your dog and anything your dog could accidentally knock over. A 2010 study shows that space heaters are responsible for 32% of home heating fires. If your dog is known for spreading his toys anywhere and everywhere (like the dog below), turn off the space heater when you aren’t able to supervise your dog.
Vine: Sarah Stewart
3. In the Living Room:
Curious pets may investigate open flames and accidentally spread flames or embers, knock over something into the flame–those wagging tails can be precarious-or they themselves could get set on fire or burned. Be sure to not leave your pet unattended around open flames.
4. On the Porch:
Avoid using a glass water bowl on top of wood. The glass and water combination intensifies the sun’s rays causing the wooden surface below to potentially ignite. Ceramic bowls are a good alternative for outside water bowls. Here’s a demonstration with a fish bowl:
Monitoring your dog’s safety, like my family did with Nika and Cain, is your best bet against preventing accidental fires started by your pets, but when you aren’t around, be sure to safeguard the rooms your pets will be in against accidental fires. Let us know your ideas for keeping your dogs safe on our Facebook page.
Photo credit: Latteda