July 15th Is National Pet Fire Safety Day: Are You Prepared?
Do You Have A Fire Escape Plan?
It’s National Pet Safety Day and for good reason! An estimated 500,000 pets are affected by home fires every year. Being prepared is extremely important, but sadly, it’s one of the most overlooked home situations.
That’s why, in 2009, The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services declared July 15th as National Pet Fire Safety Day. It is an awareness day that is recognized nationwide and aims to educate pet owners about potential fire risks.
Lisa Peterson, the AKC spokesperson, explains, “Pet proofing the home, developing pet-friendly escape routes, and alerting rescuers of your pet’s presence with ‘window clings’ is the best way to keep your four-legged family member from harm.”
Preparing your family for a potential house fire is a must. That said, when doing so, be sure to consider any pets you have as well. Below are some helpful escape, prevention, and rescue tips developed by AKC and ADT exclusively for pet owners.
Leave No Open Flames
Our pets, small breed or large, are curious by nature and love to investigate. Things such as cooking appliances, candles, and fireplaces are good examples of fire curiosities that may interest a pet.
Keep your pet safe when you are not home by ensuring they are not left alone with open, active flames. The safest option will always be to extinguish any open flames before leaving.
Check For Hidden Hazards
Open flames aren’t the only fire hazards. Objects such as loose wires and stove knobs present hidden fire hazards. They can inadvertently start fires when your pets are left alone. Or even if they’re not.
Protect The Puppies
Even the most well-trained pup should not be left attended in a space with any potential fire hazards. Placing them in a secure crate or confined in a safe area will keep them away from potential danger when you are not around. We also recommend adding a cozy calming bed to their space. This will help your dog feel secure and comfortable.
Make Them Easily Accessible
If a firefighter needs to enter your home when you’re away, giving them easy access to your pets is the best thing you can do. You can accomplish this by keeping them in the areas of your home that are closest to entrances.
Design And Practice Exit Plans
When you make your family fire escape plan, be sure to include anything your pets may need. Keeping collars, leashes, and carriers in areas that are easy to access will help you evacuate if need be.
Invest In Pet Window Clings
Be sure to fill out the window cling and keep it updated if the information changes. Firefighters are familiar with the window clings and look for them during emergencies. Keeping the clings up to date means firefighters will know the accurate number of furry family members in the home.
The ASPCA offers free pet safety kits on their website that include the window clings if you do not already have them. The window clings are also found at most pet stores and through various online outlets if you need more than are included from the ASPCA.
House fires are one of the most devastating things to happen, and when the loss of property includes a pet, it is truly tragic. National Pet Fire Safety Day should be a reminder to double-check your fire escape plan to ensure a pet plan of escape is included!