(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
According to the American Kennel Club, some half a million pets are affected by house fires each year — but there are steps you can take so yours aren’t among them.
Pets are often kept inside the house while their people are away. Unfortunately, if a fire starts or there’s a gas leak and the smoke alarm sounds, pets are trapped as they can’t call for help.
This risk can be reduced two ways. First, it’s a bright idea to take steps to keep fires from starting and spreading. Here are a few hints on how:
• Install smoke detectors, at least one on each floor and near bedrooms. Check the batteries monthly and change them at least once a year.
• Keep portable and space heaters at least three feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from them.
• Never smoke in bed or when you’re sleepy.
• Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.
• Keep pot handles turned inward so they don’t overhang the stove.
• If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off the burner.
• Lock matches and lighters away where kids can’t reach them.
• Don’t leave lit candles unattended.
• If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it fixed before you use it again.
• Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs.
• Never tamper with the fuse box or use an improper-size fuse.
Even the best precautions can’t prevent all house fires. The second key to saving dogs and cats from fires is for pet owners to find out about the threat and call for help or get home as quickly as possible.
That’s where a simple but vital electrical device can come in. Once installed, the Leeo Smart Alert — which doubles as a sleek, modern LED night-light and comes in a variety of colors — continuously listens for your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If they sound, the Leeo Smart Alert immediately calls and texts you so you can take quick action to protect your pets and your home.
The Smart Alert is easy to set up using the free Leeo smartphone app for iOS and Android. No tools or special installation is required — simply plug it in and set up with your existing Wi-Fi network.
You can add contact information for friends, family members or neighbors. If there’s an alarm in your home and you don’t immediately reply to the Smart Alert’s calls and push notifications, it will contact your preset emergency list until someone responds. It can also let you know when your home’s temperature and humidity go above or below thresholds you set. And you can have peace of mind knowing that your pets and possessions are safe from fire.
For further facts, visit www.leeo.com or call (888) 487-LEEO.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)