Caregiver in Dana Point CA
As a caregiver you are already aware of the dangers of house fires for your elderly parent and take important steps to guard your aging loved one from these risks. This includes putting in smoke detectors, making sure that they know fire safety guidelines such as never leaving a candle unattended, and establishing a meeting spot in the event that there is a fire. If your parent has a pet, however, this is only part of the equation to ensure true fire safety in your aging loved one’s home.
July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day. This special day is set aside to help pet owners learn more about fire prevention and how to keep their furry, and not so furry, friends safe in the event of a fire. Use these tips to help you make pet fire safety a part of your caregiver efforts for your elderly loved one:
- Avoid open flames. If you have ever found yourself staring into a campfire or a candle and not realize how long it has been, you know just how hypnotizing flames can be. This is not just for humans. Animals are drawn to flames as well and might be fascinated enough to try to reach out and touch them. The problem is that they do not understand the dangers associated with that flame, so when they are drawn to the flame they might knock it over or push something into it, possibly causing a fire.
- Remove accessible stove knobs. Pets are responsible for approximately 1000 residential fires each year, and one of the leading causes is inadvertently hitting a stove knob. If that knob is loose enough it can ignite a burner, potentially igniting anything that is on the stove, including paper, cloth, decorations, or food. This is especially dangerous if no one is at home. If the pet is large enough to access these knobs by walking past or by standing up with their paws on the front of the stove, or if a cat is curious and likes to paw at them, remove the knobs and put them nearby. This way when someone needs to use the stove they can, but the pets cannot accidentally turn on the stove.
- Make them accessible. Should a fire occur, it is important that the pet is accessible so that they can be rescued by your parent, you, or a firefighter. Keep leashes, carriers, and other devices close to all exits of the home to make it easy to bring pets along when escaping during a fire. If your parent is going to be out of the house, encourage them to block access to hiding places where the pet might go if afraid during a fire, which could make them more difficult to find for the firefighter. Be sure that there is a pet alert window cling on the house so that firefighters know to look for the animal. Just like you have run fire drills with your children and possibly your aging parent to make sure that everyone is familiar with leaving the house, run a couple of these with the pets as well to get them familiar.