With an estimated 500,000 pets affected in home fires each year, it’s important that pet parents include furry family members in their emergency plans. And fire safety for pets goes beyond just checking the smoke detector – here are some things you can do to keep your pets safe and avoid a fire emergency.
far from flames
Pets are very curious and will readily investigate cooking appliances, candles or even an open fire. Never leave your pet unattended around an open flame. Better yet, swap out wicked candles for flameless ones and keep stove knobs covered if your pet is tall enough to paw them.
crate & sound
Secure pets when you’re away from home. Young puppies in particular have a knack for finding trouble. By confining them to a crate or safe room, you’re keeping them away from potential fire-starting hazards when you’re not there to watch them. Furthermore, leave the crate near a door or pick a room close to the entrance, so rescuers can easily reach them in case of a fire.
Hang a pet rescue alert on a front window (or any window by an entryway). This tells firefighters how many pets are inside, their names, what kind of pet they are and where they might be hiding in case of a fire emergency. Petplan has a custom pet rescue alert sign that includes a photo of your pet to help rescuers find your furry friend faster.
check the alarm
Don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least once a year, and test it monthly to ensure it’s functioning. Also consider using monitored smoke detectors – these will notify responders in the event of a fire when you’re not home.
Chart an evacuation plan for two- and four-legged family members. Be sure leashes and carriers are kept close to an exit, and if you’re in a rush, a pillow case makes a good emergency cat carrier. Also know where the nearest emergency vet clinic is in case your pet needs immediate medical attention from an injury or distress.
ID is key
Always make sure your pet has proper ID – ideally, this is a tag and a microchip. If your pet slips out the door during an emergency situation, they’ll have a better chance of being reunited with your family.
Get the facts and share with other pet parents to help raise awareness for pet fire safety!