Traci Wilkerson Steckel
Pet Fire Safety Day
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
An alarming estimated 1,000 homes burn down each year from fires that were accidentally started by a family pet.
You may recall a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to speak with Captain Joe Amador from Fire Station 23 in Linda Vista near our home office in San Diego.
I asked him if he could remember any pet-related fire cases that came to mind about pets starting fires in or outside of their homes or if he had any advice for us to give, and he did.
Captain Amador said that he remembers being called to a home that just couldn’t be saved. The cause for the fire was the family Chihuahua was trying to jump up on the stove and accidentally turned it on. Many times people like to leave a pizza or leftovers on the stove, and pets try to jump up to get them and accidentally hit the knobs turning on the stove or burners. Do not leave these items on your stove.
Stories like this are surprisingly prevalent, but there are a few things you can do to prevent a home fire from being set by your unsuspecting pet. We know that there may be other precautions for you to take, and we want you to take all of them if it means keeping you, your pets, and your homes safe! These are just a few that we want to highlight today:
1. Make sure all entries to your kitchen are closed or blocked off with a baby gate or pen that your pets cannot jump over. If you aren't sure you did it right, we know a wonderful company with representatives in many states across the country who you can call and set this up for you, Baby Safe Homes. - Yes, they pet-proof too and are taking ALL of the precautions during COVID-19. Click on their link and go to Locations to see if they have a representative near you.
2. Never leave food or toys on your stove that a pet may be attracted to and try to reach.
3. Remove stove knobs to prevent them from being turned on accidentally.
4. Never leave unattended candles burning in your home.
5. Never leave a fireplace, fire pit, or BBQ grill unattended with pets around, and always keep your pets at least 3 feet away. When you have your pets near, be sure they are on-leash. Remember, coals from last night's fire may still be hot enough to restart a flame today; if you can properly cover your fire pit or dispose of your coals if there is an option while camping, please do so.
These are a few of the most important tips on preventing a pet-related or pet caused a fire in or outside of your home. Most of us have to leave our pets alone while we are at work or out, but be careful and be sure you are keeping both your pet and home safe while you are away.