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!