Dog Fire Safety: preventing the “firebug” in your dog

Did you know that over 1,000 house fires a year are started by dogs?  Do you practice dog fire safety?

“When pet owners go out to run errands, the majority of them leave their dogs alone in the kitchen, which is the No. 1 place dogs accidentally start fires,” says American Kennel Club (AKC) spokeswoman Lisa Peterson. “Not many pet owners realize that their pet can actually be the cause of a devastating fire.”

There are several ways that dogs can start fires simply because they are inquisitive, larger than other animals and capable of doing things like turning knobs. Being aware of these common occurrences can help you take steps to prevent it from happening in your home.

Ways to prevent your dog from starting fires 

  • Extinguish open flames – Dogs are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your dog knocking over a candle. Dogs are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your dog outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

Interested in learning how to keep your dog safe in a fire?  Continue to part 2 of Dog Fire Safety.

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