Know the Facts – Be Prepared – Protect Your Pets
Before our son was born, my husband and I had a dog named King, a big looming German Shepherd with an even bigger heart. King was a very good boy, and for the most part we didn’t have any behavior problems with him — except for snack snatching. If we left the house for even a moment, and someone left something yummy on the counter, King would jump up and grab it and then punish himself accordingly by hiding in the bathroom with a guilty look.
One summer morning, we headed out to the store to pick up a few things. We had left a pan on the stove that we had made bacon in earlier, waiting for it to cool down. The smell of bacon was too tempting for our King, and as soon as we left the house, he jumped right up to grab the pan. Unfortunately, when he grabbed the pan, he also nudged the knob on the stove and our electric burner ignited. Although the pan was made of aluminum, the handle was plastic and began to melt and burn. Lucky for us, we got home just in time, and tragedy was averted, and we’ve since gotten a new stove with digital controls that can be locked.
The scary truth is that 1,000 fires per year are actually started by pets, and 40,000 pets die each year in house fires. So what can you do to be prepared and protect your pets?
Tips for Preventing House Fires
Remove or Lock the Knobs on Your Stove
Your pet may nudge the stove knobs (just as ours did) just enought to ignite the burner. Knob covers are an inexpensive way to prevent this from happening. This is also important if you have children in the house.
Do NOT Leave Candles Unattended
Extinguish all open flames when you leave a room, so they aren’t tipped over with a paw or a tail. We’ve gone candle-free at our house, after a friends home was destroyed by a candle left burning during a power outage. Consider using flameless candles and battery operated lamps.
Pet Proof Your Home
Go through your home as if you are baby proofing it. Eliminate any loose wires or other potential hazards. We once had a gerbil who got out of his cage and ate through the wires to our Television. If your pet llikes to chew invest in wire covers and other safety devices.
Beware of Water Bowls on Wood Decks
The hot rays of the sun, when filtered through a glass water bowl can actually ignite wood decks or dry leaves nearby. Use ceramic or stainless steel instead.
Make an Emergency Kit
Assemble a portable emergency kit with enough supplies to last 7 days. It should include:
- Medications/Medical Records
- Leashes, harnesses or carriers for safe transport
- Current photos in case your pet is lost
- Bowls, cat litter and pan, can opener
- Plastic bags and paper towels to clean up waste
- Toys and pet beds
- Emergency contact numbers
- Enough food and bottled water for 7 days (Continued..)