With life come unexpected events. We go about our lives assuming certain things will never happen us, or these things just don't exist in our minds. Recently, I was given the opportunity to think about what would happen if a fire started in my home while I was away. More specifically, what would happen to my dog, Sadie? So I thought I would do a little research on the topic and share my findings and advice with you, as a reminder to be prepared for life's unexpected moments.
Some basic statistics to put things in perspective - 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year and a devastating 40,000 pets are killed. So, what does this mean for pet owners? When you're developing your family emergency evacuation plan, be sure to include your pet.
Here are a few precautions you can take:
1 | Know Your Pets' Hiding Places - your pets are most likely to be terrified from the first whiff of smoke and may run to their familiar hiding place. Be aware of these places in your home so you can quickly retrieve your pet.
2 | Secure Your Pet - always evacuate your pet on a leash or in a carrier, in case they panic and bolt outside.
3 | Prepare Emergency Kit For Your Pet - include food, water, bowls, cat litter & pan, medications or prescriptions and vet paperwork since you might have to board your pet in the event your home is not habitable. Also include a photo of your pets in case they get lost.
4| Display Window Stickers To Alert Rescue Workers - firemen are familiar with pet rescue stickers/clings which should be displayed in windows around the home.Â These safety stickers can usually be obtained for free at local pet stores or ADT Security Services and ordered through the ASPCA. Make sure stickers are clearly visible and include the types and number of pets, your vet's name & phone number. Keep your stickers updated.
5 | Invest In Pet Fire Alert Collar - this innovative product works together with your home smoke detector.Â This collar flashes and sounds off when your smoke detector goes off, so that your pet may be located by either yourself or fire fighter.
July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Dayâ€”let's all set a goal to be prepared and protect our pets from the dangers associated with home fires.