Protecting Your Home & Your Pets from Fire Hazards

Pet safety is a major concern for most pet owners. While many pet owners recognize the importance of keeping their pets safe and planning for unexpected emergencies, they may not realize just how dangerous or common it is for pets to be impacted by fire. In fact, 500,000 pets are affected in home fires each year.  Fire prevention and safety needs to be part of any responsible pet owner’s emergency plan.

A first step is to install smoke and heat detectors and regularly check to make sure they are working properly.  Not only can these detectors alert you to get out of the house should you be home, but they can also be connected to 24/7 monitoring centers who will contact you and the fire department in the case of an emergency while you are out.

Decals may be affixed to windows and/or doors to alert emergency personnel that you have pets in the house. These decals typically detail how many pets are inside your home and let you indicate whether they may be found in a crate or a specific room of the house.  Emergency personnel are used to seeing these and find them helpful in preventing the loss of a beloved pet in an emergency.

There are some basic steps that you can take to reduce the risk of fire while you are out. Common sense tells us to extinguish any burning candles and turn off the stove and oven when we leave our homes. However, that may not always be enough. Your pet can – unintentionally, of course – start a fire on his own. The Wardlow household learned this lesson the hard way with the assistance of a chocolate loving canine named Lucy.

Chris and Kay Wardlow of Norman, Oklahoma were both at work when Lucy decided she wanted a taste of the chocolate cake that was sitting just out of reach on top of the stove. When her front paws reached the stovetop controls, she managed to turn the dial and ignite the burner under the disposable aluminum cake pan. The cake pan’s plastic cover quickly melted and smoke filled the kitchen in minutes. Luckily, the Wardlow’s had 24/7 monitoring from ADT. When the smoke activated the detectors, a signal was directly received by one of ADT’s nationwide monitoring centers who immediately alerted the Fire department and contacted Kay. Kay alerted her husband, Chris, who was able to get to the house just seconds before the fire department had to knock down their door. Upon opening the door, Lucy came running out and to everyone’s relief was unharmed.

The damage caused by the fire was minimal and limited to the kitchen area. There was slight damage to the microwave above the stove and a broken glass but everything else seemed to be in good shape thanks to the quick responses of everyone involved. With 24/7 monitoring, the Wardlow household was granted a happy ending to their potentially tragic story. To learn more about ways in which you can help protect your house and beloved pets, please visit


This article is brought to you by ADT Security Systems, proud sponsor of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days and Meet the Breeds™.



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