It’s been said time and time again that Britain is a nation of pet lovers. Yet this nation has a surprisingly lax attitude to fire safety for their four legged friends. In fact, many people haven’t even thought about how they would ensure their pets would get out in the event of a fire.
Sure, I don’t have a source for that claim, but can you honestly say you have a fire escape plan to keep your pets safe? Probably not.
So how do you keep your pets safe?
First off, you need to create a plan.
To start with, think of the places your pets often hang out. These will be the places they will hide if they’re scared – say in the event of a fire. If you have caged animals then make sure you know who is in charge of taking which ones out, though never endanger you or your family’s lives in doing so.
Next, you’ll need to ensure you keep your pet supplies in a consistent place. No more coming in and chucking the dog lead on the kitchen table or living room sofa.
If you need to grab something quickly in the event of a fire then it needs to be exactly where you left it. This means you don’t end up unprepared with your pets on your doorstep or looking for things when you should be leaving the burning building!
Finally, work out an escape plan for every room and floor of your home. For example, if you’re upstairs and the fire is on the stairs, make sure you and your pets can get out safely.
Plan created, job done! Well, almost…
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Many fires occur because of pets and can happen when their owners aren’t even home. So what can you do to limit the chance of your pets causing a fire?
Keep food off the hob!
Pets can easily start a fire by knocking the knobs on the oven. Yesterday’s bolognese, this morning’s fat drippings from the bacon you fried, we’ve all done it! So make it less tempting for them to jump up and don’t leave food on the hob.
If you’re really worried, you can take measures to make the knobs inaccessible as many manufacturers will also supply childproofing measures with their kitchen appliances.
Ensure electric cables are tucked away.
Those of you with hamsters or rats will at some point probably have experienced the great escape. I remember my hamster chewing through electrical cables, the ceiling and the bathroom floor. I’m fairly sure Casper lived under the bath for a good week.
My point is, pets will chew anything, and that includes live electrical wires and power cables. So be smart about your leads and don’t leave them somewhere your pets might find them!
If you have experienced an escape, check your wiring before turning on your electrical appliances. It could save you a nasty shock.
Reduce the amount of open flames
Candles are the firefighters’ arch nemesis and are a danger in any home. We’d recommend electric candles as a flame free alternative that still gives you the ambiance you’re after, without the same high risk of fire.
Some people still want the real thing though, so try to be smart about where you put your candles. For example, if your cat likes to climb the mantle piece, then don’t put candles there. If you leave the room with the candles in, blow them out! Most importantly, don’t leave pets unsupervised around naked flames.
Monitored fire alarms
Having a monitored alarm is probably one of the best ways to secure your pets and home while you’re not in. These systems can automatically alert the fire brigade of your fire, giving you the peace of mind that if anything happens there is help on the way.
It is becoming much more likely that your local fire brigade has the capacity to care for your pets once they’re out of the building too, with the new pet breathing masks being introduced. Smokey Paws, for example, are donating these mask to fire stations across the country.
How To Get A Monitored Fire Alarm
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