The Dog Did It . . .

If you couldn’t tell by National Puppy Day back in March, we love our doggos here at Falls City Fire! All animals really! Which is why today we’re going observing National Pet Fire Safety Day, which every July 15! Just a couple days late . . .

As much as we love them, our dogs love us – they might even manage to love us more – and they want to make us happy and help us out. Sometimes, they can be a bit mischievous and get into things that they shouldn’t.

Whether trying to help us out or getting themselves into trouble, sometimes their actions can cause burns or even fires. In fact, almost 1,000 house fires a year are caused by pets! Ruh roh!

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent your pets from starting a fire:

  • Ditch the glass water bowls! Choose a stainless steel or ceramic water bowl for outdoor use. A glass water bowl is kind of like a giant magnifying glass.
  • Keep animals from open flames! Animals are naturally curious, they will go up to things to investigate them. Open flames are really interesting for pets – they’re like a dancing light show! Always supervise animals around any open flames, such as candles, lanterns, or fireplaces. And make sure to extinguish any flames before leaving them home, going to bed, etc.! You might want to even consider switching to flameless candles!
  • Don’t let them get too close to things like space heaters either, which could start a fire if they knock them over.
  • Remove stove knobs! Or you can buy a cover for the stove knobs. Just like kids, curious (or hungry!) pets can jump up and accidentally turn on burners with their bodies or paws while trying to investigate what’s on the stove. Depending on the type of stove you have, this could fill the house with gas and/or start a fire!
  • Don’t keep things on the stove. We always say not to leave flammables around the stove while cooking, but it’s a good idea to keep things off the stove in general! That way if a burner gets accidentally turn on, there’s nothing around to ignite! You also shouldn’t leave food alone on the stove while cooking or to cool – curious pets might jump up and be burned or start a fire!
  • Secure loose wires up and away from pets – especially puppies! If you know you have a chewer, make sure you routinely check your wires and cords! Chewed wires and cords are a fire hazard and you will need to replace any that are chewed or the devices that they are connected to.
  • Secure young pets in crates or kennels when you’re not at home while you train them not to chew on things, to go counter-surfing, etc.
  • Keep dogs out of the kitchen while you cook. All those amazing smells while you are cooking are very tempting and exciting! Pets can be seriously injured though if they trip you while you’re trying to get the hot pasta to the sink to drain or the jump up to see what you’re cooking. Just like with kids, pets should stay at least three feet away while you are cooking but it’s best just to keep them out of the kitchen altogether!

You should also remember to include your pets in your emergency planning, not just your prevention efforts! Make them their own go bag and have an evacuation plan ready for them! They count on us to keep them safe!

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