Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day! Each year 40,000 pets die in house fires and 1,000 fires are started by pets. In the event of a fire, your pets need as much protection as you and your family. The following are a few tips for keeping your family and pets safe:
Extinguish open flames: Pets are very curious and will investigate flames, such as one from a lit candle. Be sure to not leave your pet unattended around candles and extinguish any open flames, prior to leaving your home.
Pet proof your home: When leaving your pet unattended, consider using a crate or putting up a baby gate to secure an area. Some pets, especially puppies and kittens will chew electric cords and/or loose wires when left alone and this could be a potential fire hazard.
Beware of water bowls on wooden decks: The suns rays when filtered through a glass water bowl may ignite the wooden deck below. Use bowls made from plastic, stainless steel or ceramic when outdoors.
Check your alarms: Be sure to check your smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.
The key to any emergency is being prepared. Below are some ways that can help you to be prepared for an emergency with your pet:
Make a Portable Emergency Kit: Have your kit made and kept in a safe place near your front door for easy access. Be sure to have enough supplies to last you 7 days and include the following items:
- Pet medications
- Pet medical records
- Food and bottled water
- Leashes, harnesses or carriers for safe transport
- Current photos in case your pet is lost
- Bowls, cat litter and pan, can opener
- Plastic bags and paper towels to clean up waste
- Toys and pet beds
- Emergency contact numbers
Get a rescue alert sticker: These stickers are available free from the ASPCA and are to be placed on a front-facing window. This will alert rescue workers of the presence of any pets which may be inside your home. Get yours here!
Pet Identification: Always keep up-to-date license and tag info on your pet at all times.
Microchip your pet: Microchipping substantially increases the likelihood of your pet being returned to you if found. Microchipping is minimally invasive and doesn’t require any anesthetic. The procedure is performed at your veterinarian’s office and is simple and similar to administering a vaccine or a routine shot.
Arrange a safe haven: Arrange a place for your pets to stay if you have to evacuate. Do not leave your pets at home. If it isn’t safe for you, it definitely isn’t safe for them!
Ask a Neighbor: Ask a neighbor if you can leave a house key with them and make sure to inform them where your pets may be located so they may notify rescue workers in the event you are not home during an emergency.
If you must evacuate and cannot find your pet, leave an outside door open and call her name once you get out. She may be able to hear your calls and escape.
If your pet was in a fire, a smoke-filled area or his fur smells like smoke, take him to your veterinarian. Smoke and toxic fumes can be deadly to pets.
Do you have a pet emergency plan in place? If so, tell me about it!