Friday, July 15, 2011

Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day: Be the Change for Animals

Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day and Blog the Change for Animals. Two very important events in the pet world. Pictured here is our Honorary Fire Awareness Husky Harley, who is going to help us spread the word about fire safety and standing up to "be the change" for animals everywhere.

Blog the Change is, "Not just for bloggers…Be, Blog, and Read the Change for Animals!"

And according to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), "With an estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires each year, Pet Fire Safety Day is designed to educate the public on how they can prevent and prepare for emergencies and present solutions for reducing these tragic instances."

Through Be the Change (BtC) for Animals, folks can blog about important pet issues and causes. According to BtC, "Come together in support of people helping animals in need. What have you done to Be the Change for Animals? Who do you know who acts tirelessly on animals’ behalf? What favorite cause has a special need right now?"
For us, we want to discuss National Pet Safety Day, just as we did in last year's post on this very important date. National Pet Safety Day's purpose is to bring prevention awareness to pet owners. The NVFC, ADT Security Services, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) have partnered together to bring a fire safety awareness to all pet owners. 

According to the NVFC, there is “an estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires each year,” and “nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets,” according to the AKC and the NVFC. 

Here is a list of tips courtesy of the AKC to keep our pets from starting house fires:
*Extinguish open flames: Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.

* Remove stove knobs: Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house – a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.

* Invest in flameless candles: These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.

* Beware of glass water bowls on wooden decks: Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

* Pet proof the home: Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently (FiveSibesMom note: And get down to their eye level to see what they would come in contact with when both standing, and if they jump up).

And, in order to keep your pets safe, please also:

* Keep pets near entrances when away from home: When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. (FiveSibesMom note: And be sure to have current safety window clings up on the nearest window or door to where your pets are. Keep current ID tags on your pets' collars, too, in case they become lost or separated from their hu-parents).
* Secure young pets: Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home, such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

* Practice escape routes with pets: Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet. 

* Consider using monitored smoke detection services: As an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms, smoke detectors connected to a monitoring center help save pets who can’t escape when left home alone. 

* Affix a pet alert window cling: Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.

Another very important cause that is very important to me and goes hand-in-hand with National Pet Fire Safety Day, is pet oxygen masks. I have been working on this in my local area, and am pairing up with my husband's company to sponsor masks for our local firehouses and EMS trucks. The goal is to supply every firetruck with one set (that includes one mask for small and one mask for large animals), as well as a training session for the firefighters. I am also currently in talks with some other animal-loving folks who are interested in helping me take this countywide. Check with your own local fire and EMS departments to see if they have pet oxygen masks. Our furkids' stand a much better chance of survival should a fire emergency occur if the trucks and personnel are equipped with these masks. 

For more info on pet oxygen masks, you can check out the Wag'n "02 Fur Life Pet Oxygen Mask Initiative" site below and also how you can sponsor one for your fire department.

Here is a demonstration video on how the masks fit the animals and how they work:

Let’s all remember that preventative measures means keeping our beloved pets safe. For more information, and for distribution places (both actual and online) where you can obtain pet finder window clings, please check out the following websites:

And for some additional tips and even some fun facts on fire dogs, check out Dr. Lynn's MyPetED's article.
Some good videos on tips for National Pet Safety Day, including one from the AKC, click here.

Let's all help spread the word about pet fire safety and "being, blogging, and reading the Change for Animals." And, please, let's be safe out there!


  1. We feel very fortunate to have a very well-equipped fire department here in OP. Great PSA. We did not know that about glass bowls on decks. We don't ever use glass but that is a great warning for humans to know. It is actually so hot here that Mom doesn't leave us out long enough for us to even need water - it would be almost boiling hot.

    Have a great weekend.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  2. Such great advice, pay attention everyone!

  3. Those are important lessons, we want our pets safe! The pet oxygen mask is really interesting!

  4. Those are really excellent points! We would add for those of woo that have feathered pets to keep a pillowcase beside the cage at all times to be used for evacuation- as well as a small travel cage & emergency supplies in the car or somewhere else away from your house, be well furiends!


  5. Great post, you all!!

    I've never actually researched pet fire safety, but was pleasantly surprised that I do all those things on your list, just out of general good sense! I do have one of those window clings with the dogs listed on it for firefighters to see. I always have nightmares about our dogs being caught in the house while it's on fire and nobody's home. :( I'm a worry-wart in general, but glad to see it's not just me being silly!

    Elyse (and Riley)

  6. Such an important and extremely well-written post!

  7. Great informative post on an important topic.

  8. Last year I got my window cling. Next up, we're building a bedroom on the first floor with an external door. I hate having no good way to get our animals out from upstairs. Hate it. I think it about it far more than the average person should, and I hope others will think about it a bit more. Thanks for the great and important advice!


  9. Great reminder and excellent tips! I just might have to go hug a fireman! Or at least let one scratch my ears!
    Thanks for visiting our blog!
    Play bows,

  10. This is such an important reminder, thank you!

    I've been keeping my eye out for a window cling with info on the number of dogs inside- such a helpful, important idea!


  11. Great post! Thank you for all of the tips. I didn't even realize it was National Pet Fire Safety Day - thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  12. Thank you so much for this post. These are some really great tips. Luckily, I just ordered a pet first aid kit from the ASPCA that included window clings. Their value to me just increased 10-fold after reading this.

    I am really interested in the pet-friendly oxygen masks. I didn't know that existed. I am going to contact my local fire department and see if they have them.

    Thanks, again!

  13. Advice that everyone should read...and if you think you know it read it anyway to refresh your memory! Thanks for the great service of sharing this life saving information.

    O2 for Life! Is a wonderful group and every emergency response team should have the equipment. We join you in urging everyone to contact their local fire dept. to see hif they have them...and if not how to help make it happen!

  14. Thanks for all the information! You can't be too safe! :)

    Woofs & hugs,

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

  15. That is such a very important message for everyone. We try and do everything to fireproof the house and save the pets from stickers on the doors to emergency kits. Thanks for the information!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

  16. This is why I love coming to your site. I always learn something and I am always left feeling quite impressed with all that you do for animals. Oxygen masks for animas. What a great project!

    On top of that I learned several new things - who knew a glass bowl on a deck could be a danger? Or, to keep pets close to entrances? Or, that the knobs on a stove could be an issue? Really great tips and I will be making a few changes to our routine here at home as a result. Thank you!


  17. Great info! We are very happy we have a doggie door so the dogs can get outside whenever they want. They are also microchipped and always have their collars with our contact info on it. We also make sure our fire alarm batteries are changed regularly. It's also nice that there is usually someone home almost 24/7 since mom works days and dad works nights.

    Thanks for reminding us how important fire safety is!

    Holly & Khady

  18. Just found your blog thro an intro in the AnipalTimes. Very good tips here friend. So nice meeting you.

  19. Great information! Thanks for the tips :D

    Waggin at ya,

  20. Thank you so much for the great post and such helpful ideas!!!:)

    Teddy Bear & Sierra

  21. Wow, this is a pawesome post! Thanks for helping our peeps keep us safe. Interesting stuff!
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  22. What a great informational post. Thanks for sharing it.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  23. Great message and great information! Pet oxygen masks are an awesome idea! Good for you!!! Thanks for sharing this with us.

    The Road Dogs

  24. Thanks so much for the tips - especially about the stove knobs and the glass water bowl, which are two potential dangers I'd never thought of before. I will pass these along to friends and family.

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years