Pet Fire Safety 101

A house fire is a devastating and unpredictable event. We all know the standard fire-safety advice; minimize the risks in your home, check your smoke detectors, and have an escape plan in place that everyone in the household knows. But what about your pets? Does your fire-plan include them? July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day and it’s the perfect time to review and update your fire-readiness plan to include your pets!


Pets can inadvertently start fires - it’s estimated that somewhere between 750 - 1,000 house fires are started by pets annually! Help minimize the risks of your pampered pooch or curious cat making a dangerous mistake by practicing these prevention tips…

  • Go flameless! Open flames like unattended burners or candles can be intriguing to pets. Make sure they are never unsupervised around flames and that candles are kept out of reach and away from edges - or better yet, get flameless candles!
  • Fireplace fancier? Many pets love to curl up in the heat of a fireplace or woodstove, but they don’t know how close is too close. Make sure there are barriers at an appropriate distance to keep those heat-seekers safe!
  • Pet-proof your kitchen!  Your cat might be dreaming up the first ever feline bistro, but more than likely he just wants to know if there are any snacks up there on the stove. Dogs and cats alike can turn on burners accidentally in their inquisitive quests. Grab some knob covers to pet-proof your kitchen!
    • Still have concerns? Contain! Young, excitable or anxious, or pets in new surroundings may be more of a challenge when it comes to practicing good prevention. In these cases, it is best to find a safe containment method that keeps your dog or cat away from potential dangers. It also comes with the advantage of knowing exactly where your pet is in the event of an emergency evacuation!


    Just like with your family, your best chance of a safe evacuation including your pets is to have a plan in place before it happens. Consider the following when you’re planning!

      • Where do they sleep? Pets who are upset by fire or smoke may try to hide and be difficult to find, especially in the chaos of an emergency. Knowing exactly where your pet will be in the event of a fire makes it easier to get to them quickly and efficiently. Make sure you have easy access to a leash or pet carrier there as well!
  • Are your fire exits pet-friendly? While you probably know your escape routes, have you thought about climbing out that window with Fluffy in tow? Make a list of your possible exits and how you can make them more accessible to your furry family members.
  • You made it out - but what now? Once you have successfully evacuated with your pet, you’ll need to have a safe place for them to rest while you continue to handle the event. That place may be a neighbor’s home, a crate, the car - anywhere that your upset pet will be safely contained - but it’s not something you will have time to think about in an emergency.
  • Other Pet Fire Safety Tips

    Practicing good prevention and preparedness can save your pet’s life in a house fire. Here are some other smart steps you can take to be ready!

    • Keep up to date ID tags on your pet - don’t forget to make sure your microchip is accurate annually, too!
    • Have a pet first aid kid on hand: include gauze, antibiotic ointment, a soft muzzle, and a blanket to use as a stretcher. For more advice on assembling a first aid kit for your pets, click here!
    • Use a pet alert window cling so firefighters know how many and what types of pets are inside.
    • Check out the Maine POM Project to see how you can help local fire departments save pets!

    Did you know? The LBC has donated many life-saving Pet Oxygen Masks (POMs) to our local Maine fire departments through various fundraising efforts over the years!

    Additional Resources:

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