Fire Safety for Pets
We spend so much time protecting our pets from the little things, like ticks and fleas, that we sometimes forget to protect them from the big stuff, like house fires. Unfortunately, house fires are too common, impacting approximately 500,000 pets per year. National pet fire safety has become such an important topic that The American Kennel Club launched National Pet Fire Safety Day to help educate pet owners on fire risks. In this blog, we'll provide five helpful fire safety tips to help keep your furry friends safe should a fire ever break out.
Animal Fire Safety Starts with Prevention
Pets are cute, but they're also clumsy. In fact, pets and wildlife are responsible for starting about 700 house fires each year. It may be funny when your cat knocks over a water glass, but it can be detrimental if they knock over a hot object.
Before leaving pets alone, make sure you extinguish any open flames like fireplaces or candles. Many pet owners replace traditional candles with flameless ones. Flameless candles work using a tiny bulb rather than an open flame, so they remove the danger of your four-legged friend accidentally starting a fire.
How to Protect Pets from House Fires
Following are four pet safety tips to help you prepare your animals for a fire:
1. Have a Pet Safety Evacuation Plan
It's critical that you and your pets are able to escape quickly if a fire does start in your home. As such, ensure you have a household fire escape plan in place and that you practice this plan multiple times a year.
When creating your fire escape plan, make sure you know how to get out of every room in your house and where everyone will meet outside. Practice this plan with pets so they also know what to do in an emergency. Dogs are especially quick learners, and practicing an escape route may save their lives if you can't get to them during a fire.
2. Make Sure First Responders Know You Have a Pet
In a situation where disaster strikes, responders need to know that you have a pet or pets in danger. A simple dog-in-house fire sticker or a sign in your yard saying "in case of fire save my dog" lets emergency responders know that there is a pet in your home that needs help.
Make sure to note on your pet alert sign how many pets you have so firefighters know exactly how many animals they should be looking for. This will save rescuers time when they search for your pets.
3. Make Sure Your Pet is Easy to Find
If you crate your critters while you're away, keep their crate near a door so it's easy for first responders to find them quickly. If you don't crate your pet, make sure you know where they like to hide, like under the bed or behind the couch. Fires are incredibly scary, and your pet may seek comfort in its favorite hiding location.
If you can't reach your pet quickly, you still need to escape. Leave the door open behind you and call their name. Your voice may be able to guide them through the smoke. Once you're outside, let firefighters know there are still animals in your home and tell them where your pets may be hiding.
4. Prepare an Emergency Supplies Kit
It's also important to have everything your pet needs to stay healthy and safe prepared and accessible in case of a fire. Having leashes, collars, and an emergency kit close to an exit or in a car ensures you can get your pet out quickly with all the supplies it may need.
Things to have in an emergency kit include food, water, and medication. Also make sure they're wearing a collar with up-to-date identification tags, just in case you get separated. It's also best to get your pet microchipped. Microchipping provides a permanent form of identification that can help shelters and veterinary clinics locate you if your pet is ever lost.
Although house fires aren't always preventable, taking a few preventive measures can help protect your pet in times of crisis. By implementing these tips, you can prepare your household to help your furry friends if tragedy ever strikes.
To learn more about pet safety, contact the Forever Vets team today.