An estimated 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year. Nearly 40,000 of those animals will die from their injuries.National Pet Fire Safety Day–observed on July 15 every year–was founded to keep your pet from becoming one of these tragic statistics.“One of the hallmarks of responsible dog ownership is keeping pets safe and planning for unexpected emergencies, including house fires,” said Lisa
Peterson, a spokesperson from the American Kennel Club, which co-founded National Pet Fire Safety Day in 2009 with home security company ADT. “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.”
Fortunately, there are ways you can help protect your pets in case of fire. Read on for preventative steps you can take today to keep animals safe when disaster strikes.
8 Life-Saving Ways to Observe National Pet Fire Safety Day!
1. Check Smoke Alarms
National Pet Fire Safety Day is an opportunity to examine fire hazards that may exist in your own home. This includes installing smoke alarms, checking the batteries, and (if you don’t have one) investing in a home fire monitoring system to keep pets safe if a fire breaks out when you’re not home. After all, smoke alarms only work if there’s somebody home to call 911.
2. Place Pet Alerts In Windows
PHOTO: THE ANIMAL RESCUE SITE STORE
Pet Alert window clings are an important way to notify rescuers of any house pets that need to be rescued from a burning house. Place alerts in windows where they’ll be easily visible, like on the front porch, back door, or overlooking other main entrances. Protect My Pet Window Clings from The Animal Rescue Site make it easy to let rescuers know what and how many pets they’re looking for.
3. Pet-Proof Your Home
Curious pets can start housefires, too, especially if they chew on wires or play fetch with appliances. Make sure any electrical wires are secured, unplugged, or safely out of your pet’s reach, and use child-proof knob covers to keep pets from accidentally lighting the stove. Never, ever leave your pet alone on an electrical blanket.
4. Be Careful With Candles
Playful pets easily knock over burning candles, incense, lanterns, and other open flames. Even the cozy fire in your fireplace can spark a house fire. Never leave pets unattended around burning fires. Consider using flameless LED candles.
5. Make an Emergency Pet Plan
Stock up on leashes and collars in case you (or someone else) need to move your pets quickly. Keep these near the front door, near your pet’s crate, or in another accessible (and visible) spot.
6. Crate Pets When You’re Away
There are many benefits to crate training, including the fact that crates help keep young pets safe (and out of mischief) when you’re not home. Place the crate near the door or entrance where rescuers can easily find them if disaster strikes.
7. Help Rebuild A Shelter Destroyed by Fire
HELP US REBUILD A SHELTER DESTROYED BY FIRE. PHOTO: MONTCLAIR TOWNSHIP ANIMAL SHELTER
Even if you don’t have a dog or cat, you can still help us save lives. Make a donation to help us rebuild an animal shelter destroyed by fire. In addition to helping us rebuild the Montclair Township Animal Shelter in New Jersey, you’ll be saving animals like Hayes, who arrived at the shelter’s makeshift location dirty, matted, and with a huge gash in his head. Thankfully, rescuers were able to rehabilitate Hayes (pictured above) and find him a home – but rebuilding their shelter would help them save even more animals. Boehringer Ingelheim will be matching donations up to $20,000 to help these rescuers make this project a reality.
8. Provide Life-saving Oxygen
PET OXYGEN KITS CAN HELP SAVE FIRE VICTIMS. PHOTO: PET OXYGEN KIT PROJECT
Even when pets are pulled from the flames, they still aren’t out of danger. That’s because fire victims (of all species) desperately need oxygen, but most fire trucks aren’t equipped with pet-sized oxygen masks.