FIRE SAFETY FOR PETS - PREPERATION IS KEY
Although almost 360,000 residential fires occur in the United States each year, most people can’t image a fire breaking out in their home. Like any other emergency that can occur at home such as natural disasters, preparation is key to ensuring your family stays safe. Your pets, and specifically pups, are of course a part of your family as well. However, even though most pet parents do love their furry family members, they are often unintentionally left out of emergency planning. Fire safety for pets should be considered as part of your overall plan in case of fire. This will help ensure the safety of your pup, your family, and first responders. Read on to learn more about fire safety for pets!
HELP PREVENT FIRES BEFORE THEY BEGIN
It is estimated that almost 500,000 pets are impacted by house fires each year, with over 1,000 of those fires actually starting due to a pet’s accidental actions in homes. There are three main ways you can help reduce the chance your pup – or other pets – will accidentally start a fire in your home.
- Reduce Open Flames. Candles and other sources of open flames such as fireplaces are a huge reason residential fires occur. Your pup is naturally curious, and it would be very easy for a candle to be knocked over and go unnoticed until it is too late. By reducing the use of open flames in your home, you can greatly reduce the risk of your pup accidentally starting a fire.
- Remove Loose Wires. Damaged wiring can also start residential fires. It’s important to keep any wires out of reach of your pup, as they may chew and damage the wire housing over time. Periodically check on lamps and other wired items, especially if they are partially hidden by furniture or in close proximity to items that can be flammable, such as window treatments.
- Keep Your Kitchen Safe. The majority of house fires start in the kitchen. Make sure your pup knows not to climb on counters and appliances, even if they are excited for their favorite treat! Having protective covers over knobs on a gas range is also a smart idea.
FIRE SAFETY FOR PETS - KNOW YOUR PLAN
Having an effective plan in case of fire is the best way to make sure everyone in your family stays safe – including your pup. When you meet with your family to discuss the plan, one family member should be in charge of ensuring your pets also make it out of your home. This way when a fire does occur and speed is critical, there will be not question who should make sure your pup is safe.
Additionally, by keeping a pet “go bag” with essential items in like food, water, medication, leashes, collars, and medical records, you’ll be able to get out of your home fast. As always, make sure your pup’s microchip is active and your contact info is up to date in case you are separated during a fire.
WHAT TO DO DURING A FIRE
Every situation is different, and even the best plans may not work based on the situation. Ideally, the designated family member would be able to grab your pup and go bag, and simply exit the home. Keep in mind it’s also important to ensure your pup is secure once your are safety out of the home so you are not separated during the confusion.
If you are not able to reach your pup due to the circumstances of the fire, make sure to give first responders an accurate description of where you last saw your pup in your home. This will help firefighters reach them sooner, and safely remove them from your home. It’s never recommended to go back into a burning structure once your are out, so it’s important to communicate with fire fighters as soon as possible.
FIRE SAFETY FOR PETS - BE PREPARED
You can greatly improve the safety of your family – both human and furry – during an emergency such as a fire by having and sticking to a plan. By periodically discussing and practicing the plan, you’ll help ensure your pets are not left behind.
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