National Pet Fire Safety Day takes place every year on July 15, and is a day dedicated to learning how to prevent fires in the home and how to keep your pets safe should a fire break out.

In the USA alone, home fires affect over 500,000 pets each year and are responsible for at least 40,000 pet deaths (mostly from smoke inhalation) annually. Having a pet fire safety plan in place will help you avoid future tragedy. Take the following steps to protect your home and your pets from accidental fires.


6 Ways pet owners can prevent fires:


  1. Smoke detectors save lives!

But only if they are working. In addition to checking your detectors regularly, if you live in a fire-prone area or are concerned about a fire potentially starting, consider installing monitored smoke detectors so firefighters will be notified and can respond to a fire even if you’re not at home. Your pets will thank you.


  1. Be cautious with candles

Although candles might light a fire in your love life, they can be a safety hazard to your curious but not cautious pets. Wagging tails and pawing kitties can haphazardly knock over candles. Don’t leave a candle unattended, not even for a minute. Better yet, change to flameless candles that use a lightbulb instead of a wick for ambience.


  1. Secure electrical cords and cables

Puppies and kittens love to chew on everything that looks tasty, electrical cords and cables included. To prevent Whiskers from sparking a fire (and kitty getting electrocuted), make sure that all loose cables are secured or hidden behind furniture (out of reach).

Tip: Consider wrapping electrical cords in rubber covers, available for purchase at most stores that sell electrical and home repair supplies. Putting the cords inside PVC tubing is also an option. You can even spray them with a citrus scent, which pets dislike and are likely to avoid.


  1. Keep the dog house clear

If your doggo has his own “private villa” in your yard, make sure it’s freestanding and clear of the home, flammable material, bushes and any other obstructions. Your scared dog might run to his dog house in the event of a fire.


  1. Avoid glass bowls

Don’t put glass pet bowls outside in the sun. The sun’s rays can reflect and start a fire on your deck or dry lawn. Play it safe and purchase an approved pet bowl.

Tip: Use a stainless steel or ceramic bowl instead. Try to avoid plastic bowls as they easily harbour unhealthy bacteria.


  1. Pet-proof your home

Storage areas in the home where flammables are kept should not be accessible to pets. Hazards like aerosol cans, lighters, and stove top controls should be kept out of paw’s reach. Keep cupboards with flammable products locked, and train your pets to stay clear of the kitchen.

Use this year’s annual Pet Fire Safety Day to assess your home situation so that if someday things get hot, you and your precious pets will be cool under fire.