Are your pets safe in the event of a fire or indeed the cause?

While most people are fire savvy in the event of either preventing or managing an unintentional fire that breaks out in their home, the fact is few people actually think about the potential hazards their beloved cat, dog or other animals could pose in the home with regard to fire. With the 15th July being Pet Fire safety day, Fidelity ADT says it is important for pet owners to be aware of the hazards their beloved cat, dog or other animal could pose in the home with regard to fire.

“Many fires are caused by pets, especially when they are left alone in a property and the intention is that by highlighting the dangers to owners, it can help in preventing them,” says Agnieszka Gryn, Fidelity ADT Regional Executive.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly a 1 000 house fires each year are accidentally started by homeowners’ pets.

“Animals are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home. Also, be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house,” she says.

Gryn says it is also useful in the event of a fire to discuss who in a home is responsible for helping a pet escape and carry out some practice escape drills.

Fidelity ADT recommends the following:

* Develop a plan for your pet by determining which family member will be responsible for each pet. Know where your pets hide as this may be the first place they go if there is a fire.

* Ask someone in your family or a friend in advance if they would be willing to keep your pets for you in case of an emergency.

* Practice your escape plan so that it can help everyone feel more comfortable about what they need to do. This will help identify issues that are not clear or have not been well planned yet.

* Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.

* When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.

“It takes some simple planning to include your pets into your home evacuation plans and to minimise the fire hazards in your home. For pet lovers an invaluable time investment!” concludes Gryn.