You love your pets. So, obviously, you want to protect them from harm.

Electrical Safety First (part of the Electrical Safety Council) say that 60,000 people have lost pets in electrical fires, alone.

We all know that prevention is better than cure. So, what are the best ways to prevent house fires and what are the preventative measures you can put in place to ensure that your pets, you and your home are protected.

There are a wide range of things you can do and here is our list 8 things that you can do to prevent home fires occurring:-

  1. Don’t leave candles unattended – although this is, perhaps, an obvious potential fire hazard, you would be surprised how many people make the basic mistake of leaving burning candles unattended, where curious pets can knock them over;
  2. Electric cables – trailing electrical cables can be damaged by pets chewing and gnawing them, making the chance of an electrical fire more likely. Ensure that wherever possible, electrical cables are located high up, and in places that pets cannot bite, chew or gnaw them;
  3. Pet proof your stove – cooking stoves can have an irresistible attraction to curious pets. Never leave food cooking on the hob unattended and if you think there is a chance that your pet may turn the knobs themselves then consider replacing or removing them;
  4. Don’t leave electrical appliances running unattended – household appliances such as convector heaters can be knocked over by pets. In addition, pets can cause inflammable material to fall onto badly sited heaters. Mobile phone chargers and washing machines left unattended while in operation can also cause fires;

However, if there is a fire, pets will have a better chance of escaping safely if you have planned beforehand what to do if a fire occurred:-

  1. Make it easier for the fire fighters – fire fighters will be able to save pets more easily if the pets are located in areas close to escape routes. Rescuing your pet if they are trapped elsewhere in the house, such as a loft or cellar, could make finding them in a fire particularly difficult;
  2. Have an escape plan – in the event of a fire in your home you don’t want to be worrying about your pets when you should be focussed on that ensuring that everyone in the house is safe. The solution is to plan ahead, so that, if the worst does happen, you will know exactly what to do.  The key is to find out where your pets are likely to hide when scared. That way you will have a better chance of rescuing them. Also think about looking after your pets once they are safe and make sure you can find your dog’s lead, or pet carrier in an emergency;
  3. Find lost pets – it is not unusual for frightened pets to run and hide, making it harder to find them. So make sure that you pet is wearing a collar with an identification tag and your your cat or dog is micro-chipped, so that they can be easily reunited with you;
  4. Monitored smoke alarms – monitored smoke alarms provide a particularly effective form of protection for your pets and your home.  Monitored alarms are connected to a help centre. When smoke triggers the alarm, help centre staff alert the fire service, immediately. Consequently, you can take comfort from the fact that even if you are not in the property, your home and your pets are still being looked after;