Most families have actively talked about fire safety and have developed an emergency safety plan. But does that plan always include the family pet? Thursday is National Pet Fire Safety Day, and 13 ON YOUR SIDE has tips on how you can keep your beloved pets safe in the event of a fire.
According to American Humane, the first step is to prevent fires from happening in the first place. Pets may accidently start a fire in your home by knocking over candles, chewing wires or turning stove nobs. The American Red Cross recommends the following:
- Never leave animals unattended with open flames
- Remove stove nobs
- Invest in flameless candles
- Secure young pets
Additionally, pet owners should prepare for fires and create an emergency plan that includes their pets. Fire alarms often scare animals, so being aware of hiding spaces and anxious tendencies is also important.
“The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home,” according to the Red Cross. “When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.”
Both American Humane and Red Cross recommend purchasing and installing a decal or sticker in a home window indicating that you have a pet, what kind you have and his or her name. This helps firefighters help you, and ultimately your four-legged friend.
If you ever do find yourself in a fire, be sure to grab your pet’s leash or carrier, along with your pet, as you escape. If you are unable to locate your pet, leave the building, open the door, and call their name. Once responders arrive, inform them that your pet is inside so they can continue looking.
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