July 15th marks The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services National Pet Fire Safety Day. An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires. What steps do you have in place to assure your pets’ safety?
There are many ways to help keep your pets safe in the event of a fire. Here a few to get you started:
- Keep leashes near all exit doors, that way you or firefighters can easily secure your pet and lead them to safety.
- Provide pets with an escape route in the form of a pet door.
- If your pet needs to be confined to a room or kennel keep them close to an entrance. This will make it easier for firefighters to find your pet.
- Make a note of all the places your pet likes to hide or even take a nap. Pets are known to run to these places when in distress.
- In instances where you need to evacuate, leave outside doors open. This gives your pet a way out. Once you are out safely, call your pet’s name so your pet will hear you and respond.
- Alert firefighters to indoor pets by placing Pet Rescue Fire Safety Stickers in your window. Place stickers in your front windows to indicate you have pets inside, how many, and what kind. Free stickers/clings are available at many AKC events as well as through the ASPCA website. Keeping these stickers updated and accurate, moving/removing when you relocate and general upkeep and maintenance are required for stickers to be effective.
Fire Fighter Thomas Slater Jr. and Oscar
Steps to help prevent fires can be even more critical. Nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidently started by home owner’s pets.
- Pets are notorious for knocking over candles, especially cats. In fact, be sure not to leave pets unattended around any open flame. Flameless candles are best.
- Stoves are the number one piece of equipment involved in pet-started fires. Pets are drawn to it due to all the delicious smells. Removing stove knobs or protecting them with a cover decreases risk of fire.
- Beware of glass water bowls. Never leave a glass water bowl on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays can heat up the water and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. As a best practice, use a ceramic or stainless steel bowl.
AKC studies show that 88% of households feel their pets are a valued member. Do what you can to protect your entire family in the case of a fire or emergency. Find additional information at the AKC website, ASPCA website or by calling our office for more tips and best practices.