Fire and Life Safety with Your Pets

Integrated Fire SystemsFire & Life Safety Updates

Are You and Your Pets Prepared for a Fire?

Our pets are often very important members of our families. When it comes to fire and life safety it is extremely important to make sure that you have a plan for your human family members and your furry family members.

Pets Starting Fires

NFPA says that pets start approximately 750 home fires every year. The most common ways for pets to start a fire involve:

  • Cooking Equipment
  • Fire Places
  • Space Heaters
  • Lamps
  • Light Bulbs
  • Wiring
  • Candles

Pets can be spastic and curious, which can lead to them knocking over, bumping into, and/or turning on cooking equipment, candles, space heaters, and lamps. Pets can also be chewers. This can lead to them chewing through electrical wiring which can lead to short circuiting and fire.

It is important that you make sure that your pets do not end up on your kitchen counters and that they stay away from stove tops. Your fire place should have a “pet free-zone” at least 3 feet away from the opening. This means that you should have a metal or heat-tempered glass screen around your fire place so your pets cannot get into it. Also, your chimney should be protected so animals cannot come in through your outside vents. You should also pet proof your electrical cables by removing access to the cables or covering the cables. Three ways to remove access are:

  1. Lifting the cords out of the pets reach.
  2. Running the cords through the wall.
  3. Blocking access to the cords by using furniture.

Three ways to cover the cables are:

  1. Wrapping the cords in a plastic spiral wrap or a corrugated wire loom tubing.
  2. Mounting wire channels along the walls to create a protected path for the cords.
  3. Running the cords through a metal braided sleeve.
Evacuating Pets during Fires

In the event of a fire it is important to stick to your evacuation plan and leave your home quickly and safely. In order to help create an evacuation plan, download the Wildfire Preparedness for Household Pets from NFPA. This guide will help you collect all of the necessary documentation, supplies, and food that you will need in the event of an evacuation.

Along with this guide, make sure that you and your family have a fully developed and practiced evacuation plan. This plan should involve multiple routes for how to get you and your pets out of your home quickly and safely. Your evacuation plan should also include a meeting point in a safe and secure location, as well as emergency numbers like 911, your local fire department, and your vet’s office.

When evacuating your home try to take your pets with you when it is possible. But make sure that you do not put your safety in harm’s way in order to evacuate your pet. Also, do not ever go back into a building that is on fire to rescue your pet. Once the fire department arrives inform them that your pets are trapped.

Pets are a large part of our lives. When we are in the middle of a dangerous situation we may want to put ourselves in danger to protect our furry family members, but remember that your safety is ultimately more important than your pets in these situations.

-The IFS Team