According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated half million pets are affected annually by fires. With July 15th recognized as National Pet Fire Safety Day, Bil-Jac talked with the Medina County Chapter of The Red Cross to identify several ways to help you and your pet stay safe.
Develop a Plan for your Pet
It’s important to always be prepared and keep your best friend in mind. One key to protecting your pets from the tragedy of a fire is to be sure you include them in your family disaster plan. Here are 6 things you can do to integrate your 4-footed family members into your disaster plan:
- Determine which family member will be responsible for each pet.
- Know where your pets hide, as this may be the first place they go if there is a fire.
- Plan to bring your pet’s carrier when you evacuate the house. It can be a safe and comforting place for your pet to be, especially when the fire truck arrives.
- Put a Pet Alert window sticker on a door or window near the front with the number of pets you have in the house. You can find these at pet stores or shelters. It will help the rescue team know to look for your pets.
- If you have to leave your home and go to a shelter, you will most likely not be able to bring your pets with you. Ask someone in your family or a friend in advance if they would be willing to keep your pets for you in case of an emergency.
- Practice, practice, practice. It may seem silly, but running through the plan will help everyone feel more comfortable about what they need to do and will identify issues that are not clear or have not been well planned yet.
Prevent Your Pet from Starting Fires
The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips.
Extinguish open flames
Remove stove knobs
Invest in flameless candles
Keep pets near entrances when away from home
Secure young pets
Use a Pet Alert window cling
It only takes a little bit of time to include your pets in your home evacuation plans and to minimize the fire hazards in your home. The reward of keeping your family members safe, including the small furry ones, is certainly priceless.
For pet first aid tips from The Red Cross, click here.
Do you have ideas for preventing your dog from starting fires other than the ones above? Please share your suggestions with us in the comments below.