Fire safety for your four-legged friends

by | May 19, 2024 | Home and Living

You’ve heard of childproofing, but have you heard of pet-proofing? The Canadian Animal Health Institute reports that nearly 60 per cent of Canadian households include at least one cat or dog. Whether you’re already a pet owner or you’re considering adding a Luna or a Max to your family this year, here are some tips to help ensure your home is safer for your whole family.

Set up a safe home:

  • Avoid leaving candles unattended, as wagging tails and batting paws can accidentally knock them over. Consider switching to flameless candles for a safer, yet still calming, ambiance.
  • Secure loose wires and run cords out of reach to help prevent electrical fires that can be caused by chewing.
  • Install the recommended number of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. The National Fire Protection Association advises having alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, and in each bedroom. For added safety for both you and your pets, install combination alarms that protect against the threats of both smoke and carbon monoxide – such as the First Alert 10-year battery combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Test alarms regularly, replacing batteries every six months, or opt for 10-year sealed battery alarms, which eliminate battery replacement and low-battery chirps for a decade.

Prepare for emergencies:

  • Develop an emergency escape plan, assigning responsibility for each pet to specific family members. Practise the plan at least twice per year and decide on a meeting spot where the whole family knows to gather.
  • When you’re away from home, use a pet gate to keep animals in the main living area. This may make it easier for first responders to rescue your pet in the event of an emergency.
  • Place pet-alert stickers near entrances to inform firefighters of pets inside, which may save valuable time during rescue operations.
  • Make sure the information on your pet’s identification tags is up to date and that they always have them on. If possible, microchip your pets for added peace of mind.

In the event of a home fire, never delay your escape or re-enter a burning building to rescue a pet. Instead, report missing pets to the fire department dispatchers.

Learn more home safety tips at firstalert.ca

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