July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day

stock-photo-000058742742_Small_Cat+Candle (300 x 200)If you’ve watched even one of those pet video your friends keep posting, you know that pets can do amazing things, from opening the refrigerator to riding a skate board. But did you know that pets accidentally start almost 1,000 home fires every year?

Stoves and cook tops are involved in the largest number of fires started by pets, which may jump up on them—or on you while you’re cooking—to get at food. Just as you establish a “kid-free zone” around the stove when cooking, establish one for pets. Enlist your children’s help in keeping pets away, or use a baby gate to confine them in a different area while you’re cooking.

Even after turning off the burners, don’t leave tempting food on the stove top unattended. In at least one incident reported by the American Kennel Club (AKC) ®, a curious dog accidentally hit the stove knob and turned on the gas burner, starting a fire that filled the house with smoke.

The AKC offers these tips to keep your pet from starting a fire and for keeping them safe if a fire does happen at home:

 Don’t leave your pet unattended around an open flame of any kind. Pets are curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace.

Consider flameless candles, which use a light bulb instead of an open flame. Pets have started fires when their tails overturned lit candles.

Don’t leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays, filtered through the glass and water, can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck.

While you’re not at home:

Keep pets near entrances. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.

Secure young pets, especially young puppies, away from potential fire-starting hazards, in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Learn more ways to Be Safe With Your Pet.