The National Fire Protection Association says that 500,000 pets are affected by fires each year, with 40,000 of them dying. Almost 1,000 of those fires were started by pets. With these alarming statistics, you may want to consider taking a few precautionary steps to protect your home and your pet, especially if your pet is home alone often. Here are a few ideas.
Pet-Proof Your Home
Since pets can start fires, it's important to pet-proof your home. If your stove knobs are reachable by your pet, remove the knobs from the stove when the stove is not being used. This will prevent your pet from accidentally turning on the stove or oven. Unplug all electrical cords or cover them so your pet will not be able to chew on them. If any cords are exposed and need to stay plugged in, wipe the cords with a pet deterrent spray. You can find these sprays at your local pet store.
Monitored Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors save lives and homes... but not pets when they are home alone. However, smoke detectors that are monitored will alert security services that emergency responders and firefighters are desperately needed in your home. These monitoring services can also notify you immediately with urgent text messages so you'll know right away whenever there's a problem.
Since it takes time for firefighters and other emergency responders to arrive, fire sprinklers through a company like Nor Cal Fire Protection are a must-have for home and pet protection. The fire sprinkler system can also be monitored to alert responders as well as your mobile device when the system is triggered by excessive heat. Fire sprinklers can be installed as a stand-alone system or retrofitted into your plumbing system for multi-use.
Ideally, the water in the fire sprinkler system should be under high pressure at all time so that the water will be readily available to be expelled at a forceful rate at any time. If your home has well water, it's a good idea to install a pressurized holding tank. That way, it won't be necessary to rely on your well pump alone, which may not provide enough pressure at a constant rate.
Automatic Pet Door Opener
An automatic pet door opener will allow your pet to escape the home. Pet doors can be installed in exterior doors and walls. Of course, you'll need a fenced in yard that is large enough for your pet to evacuate to and stay away from the house at a safe distance. There are two types of automatic pet doors: electronic and magnetic.
The electronic version automatically opens when a sensor detects a signal from a device on your pet's collar. However, it's important to understand that the sensor may not recognize that your pet is in front of the door when water is being expelled by the fire sprinklers or when there is a lot of smoke. Fortunately, the magnetic version uses magnets on the door and on your pet's collar to open the door, which won't be affected by water or smoke.
ASPCA Window Decals
Install window decals to alert responders that your residence has animals. The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides free window decals to anyone who orders them. These stickers can be placed on the windows of your pet's favorite rooms. It's a good idea that you write the name(s) of your pet(s) on the decals so the responders can call for them by name when they look for your pets. If you choose to use automatic pet doors, you can note this information on the window decals as well so the first responders will know to check the backyard for your pets.