Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day: Blog the Change for Animals
Our Harley donned a firefighter's hat to help deliver the very important message about fire safety for pets. Today is Be the Change for Animals' "Blog the Change" and we are promoting National Pet Fire Safety Day, which is also observed annually on today's date ~ July 15 ~ as a reminder to be aware of your pet's safety in case of a fire and take a few moments to be sure you have a safety plan in place and take some advance precautions.
According to the AKC, "The sad news first: 40,000 pets die every year in home fires. To help reduce that number, the AKC and ADT Security Services have declared July 15 'National Pet Fire Safety Day.' This nationwide annual awareness day educates pet owners about potential risks when pets are left home alone and provides them with proven prevention measures to ensure their safety."
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. And keep their leashes nearby).
* 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. (FiveSibesMom note: have a designated trusted neighbor or nearby relative to be the emergency contact person in your absence).
* 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 to each room where they are in. This critical information saves rescuers precious time during a fire to locate your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.You can fill out a form through the ASPCA HERE to obtain your FREE Pet Safety Pack that includes a window decal alert shown below.
You can also upload a printable fireman pet alert decal from PetPlace.com with directions HERE. These can be printed (ink jet printer) onto paper or onto (preferred) clear decals for windows you can purchase at most office supply stores. See sample downloadable decals below:
A great Pet Safety Plan video from Grady Veterinary Hospital:
Until next time, let's all be careful and stay safe out there!