Why are domestic cats killed in house fires while owners survive unharmed?
There are millions of full-time indoor domestic cats in the US. A fire safety cat escape door, sensitive to smoke might be a good seller.
Today, I had planned to do a cat news roundup. While scanning the news I notice that, as usual, there are a couple of news items about cats being killed in house fires. One of them has the headline, Hudson Fire Displaces Residence, Kills Three Cats and the other headline is House Destroyed, Cats Missing after Couch Catches Fire.
In the latter, a couch caught fire because a cigarette fell on it. The woman concerned looked after 17 cats. Seven of the cats lived inside and the others lived outside the home. Some cats are missing.
The issue is this: pretty well every day there is a new story about a house fire and cats missing, presumed dead. I’m not saying that all domestic cats die in house fires. Some escape, obviously, and some are outside already. But it appears to me that too often domestic cats are dying in house fires while their owners are surviving unharmed and I think something needs to be done about it.
It may well be the case, and I am speculating because I don’t have the details, that full-time indoor cats are far more likely to be killed in a house fire because there is no cat door leading to the exterior. The owner has to escape a fire and does so as quickly as possible. Often they cannot spend time looking for their cat or cats. The cats cannot get out of the house because there is no escape route, a cat door, and therefore they perish.
If this is a reason why domestic cats died in house fires then something can be done about it. Even full-time indoor cats should have some form of escape route. Humans have escape routes. It doesn’t matter if it’s from apartments or detached houses. There is always a way out and there are fire regulations governing fire safety standards for all kinds of buildings (in developed countries).
I’m wondering whether fire safety standards encompass the safety of domestic cats particularly full-time indoor cats. They need an escape route and it needs to be triggered when a fire takes hold. This could be a cat door which is permanently closed if the cats of full-time indoors and which is opened, perhaps automatically, when a certain temperature is reached inside the home.
Or the owner can flick a switch to open the door. The best solution might be that the cat door is triggered like a smoke alarm. Smoke proceeds flames and therefore if a cat door was sensitive to smoke it could be triggered open when smoke is detected. This might be a solution. I wouldn’t think that it would take an awful lot of technology to create such an device.
There are millions of full-time indoor domestic cats in the US. A fire safety cat exit door sensitive to smoke might be a good seller.
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Quote: “They need an escape route and it needs to be triggered when a fire takes hold. This could be a cat door which is permanently closed if the cats of full-time indoors and which is opened, perhaps automatically, when a certain temperature is reached inside the home.” This sounds like it could be a brilliant idea, Michael.?
I really like your ideas about having escape routes for cats. I know that if my house were to catch fire, both of my cats would most likely die. One is a maybe because she may be able to be located prior to leaving the house. The other always hides under my bed (upstairs) when scared, so it would be safe to say that he will most likely end up under my bed trying to stay safe. ? I hate to think about it.
With an escape plan, they may be able to survive, especially if they understood about leaving the house rather than hiding. They both LOVE going outside, but they may think differently when scared.
If the cat has an escape route then it may start using it to just go outside. Then it’s at risk by maniacs, traffic and wild animals. I think there are a lot of reasons. One is once the fire department shows up they won’t allow the owner back in the house. If the fire isn’t started near a smoke detector the person in the home could wake up to black smoke filling the room and you can’t even catch your breath in that. Plus cats hide. They could be in a closet or under the bed or behind the washer/dryer. The best answer is to have LOTS of smoke detectors in the home.