I am seeing too many stories of rescue cats dying in fires in the US. These are cats housed in someone’s home and the home is doubling up as a rescue facility. And I ask if under these circumstances the home owner, who is a cat rescuer, is obliged to comply with specified, manadatory fire regulations. If not they should be. My research on this came up with a blank. The question is: should cat rescues and fosters operating from homes be subject to higher fire regulations than normal?
And, in any case, fire regulations in the US are probably managed at a city or county level, consequently it is all but impossible to drill down on the internet to find information.
A recent story highlights this potential problem. The headline: ‘Nebraska fire kills 48 cats at home that doubled as shelter’. The fire started in the laundary room of Michelle Tynan’s home in Chappell. She is the founder of the Nebraska Love Cats nonprofit.
She found the dryer on fire when she was woken by the smell of smoke. She called 911 and grabbed as many cats as possible and ran. The fire officers prevented her re-entering her home to rescue the remaining cats. Horrible. The thought of it makes me wince.
But the thought of the cats dying in that fire also makes me think: what are the fire regulations? Are there laws which specify that people operating an animal rescue from their home must have full fire protection measures in place in case of an unexpected fire such as experienced by Tynan?
I would have thought that all animal rescue organisations are mandated to have fire safety and fire evacuation procedures in place under the law.
There is also the issue of the contruction of the building complying with fire safety construction regulations. These must be in place at local and national levels. There is a lot that can be done in building construction to mitigate against fire damage. This is a very important area. But it is likely that different regulations apply for residential homes compared to office building, work facilities and apartment blocks (condos) as these are places of multiple occupation.
This leads me to the conclusion that in running a cat rescue from a residential home exposes the cats to a greater fire risk than if they were housed in a proper facility governed by tighter fire regulations.
Fire codes are usually enforced by the local fire departments. And they often offer an inspection service to assist people in making their establishments safe.
It seems that in the USA the National Fire Protection Association plays a role in providing the codes and standards for fire code regulation and hazard management. They are an international nonprofit organisation.
Can anyone shed some light on this? It is important. I read news about cats daily and I am seeing too many cats dying in house fires. Foster carers always operate from home. Another potential weakness in fire safety. The question as mentioned is: should cat rescues and fosters operating from homes be subject to higher fire regulations than normal?