Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day: Do You Have A Plan?

Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day ~and~ Blog the Change for Animals, so we here at the FiveSibes want to once again talk about the importance of Pet Fire Safety. We believe so strongly in Pet Fire Safety, that we chose to talk about it once again featuring tips, recommendations, a photo of a fireman in our own family, a video of a Husky who was burned and rescued from a house fire, and an in-depth heart-to-heart conversation with the Husky's mom and neighbor about the frightening ordeal. The goal of this post, reshared from last year, is to share vital information that could possibly safe a pet's life...or at the very least, give each family some peace of mind that they have done all they can in preparation for, but hopefully never have to experience, a fire where their pets are.

So many times we all settle into our daily lives with routines that take us from morning until night, weekdays until the weekend. But how many of us have stopped to make an emergency plan not only for human family members, but for our pet family members as well? 

 "...40,000 pets die every year in home fires." ~American Kennel Club

 In case of a fire, you may have an escape route mapped out for your family, but does it include your furry members? A little forethought and pre-planning could help save a life.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), "...40,000 pets die every year in home fires." That's a frightening statistic. So what can we do to reduce that number? First, the AKC has teamed up with ADT Security Systems to designate an annual national Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15 to help bring awareness and hopefully reduce this statistic by offering the following helpful suggestions:

Tips for Helping Prevent Your Pets From Starting Fires 
Courtesy of the AKC


*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).

Other Important "To Dos"

* Keep pets near entrances when away from home: When leaving pets home alone, keep them in crates, 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.

Does your Fire Department Have a Pet Oxygen Mask?

Over the past few years, more and more fire departments have been equipped with pet oxygen masks. Check with your fire department to see if they have them, or if they need one, have them check out Project Breathe by Invisible Fence HERE and the department's Fire Chief can fill out an application HERE for a possible donation of a kit (which includes a small, medium, and large pet mask and bag). This is dependent upon participation from your local Invisible Fence, but it is certainly worth a phone call that could possibly wind up with your fire department receiving a pet oxygen mask kit! Be sure to tell them the FiveSibes sent you over!

While we all hope and pray a fire never starts in our homes and that our family and furfamily members are never in this type of danger, it can and does happen. On a recent episode of my Dog Works Radio show "The Sibe Vibe," we chatted with the hu-mom and neighbor/rescuer of a Siberian Husky named Nanuk who was trapped in the family home when it caught on fire and was burned. Hearing his mom and neighbor's retelling of what happened brings tears to my eyes...but lucky for Nanuk, he had a happy ending and even was able to go back and meet the heroic firemen who saved his life by administering oxygen to the badly injured Husky. Pictured above is Nanuk after his recuperation with several members of the Los Angeles Fire Department who saved him. And below is the family's video showing Nanuk's journey:

This episode of my "The Sibe Vibe" is a very important show to help bring awareness that this CAN happen to any one and some firsthand tips from a family who lived through it. Please share the player with friends and family to help bring awareness to Pet Fire Safety. You can also follow Nanuk on his Facebook page, Husky Nanuk, Burned in a House Fire to see how well this beautiful boy is now doing and to see all of his amazing photos! Below is the player featuring my interview with Nanuk's family:

Check Out Pets Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Dog Works Radio Show on BlogTalkRadio with Dog Works Radio Shows on BlogTalkRadio

And above all, let's be safe out there!
A personal "thank you" to all the brave firefighters and emergency response teams who bravely put their life on the line every single day to ensure the safety of others. And also a heartfelt thanks to my future son-in-law, Kyle, who is a volunteer firefighter here in our county for all his dedication, insight, and for being part of this blog post along with his Husky love, our girl Bandit, who loves him dearly!


  1. Awesome PSA, Five Sibes!!! So many great ideas and suggestions. We hope a lot of peeps stop by and read this.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

  2. Thanks for all this wonderful information and insight. We never can guarantee our companion animals safety but having knowledge and a plan sure helps. I shared your blog link with my FB followers as well.

  3. Thanks for all this wonderful information and insight. We never can guarantee our companion animals safety but having knowledge and a plan sure helps. I shared your blog link with my FB followers as well.

  4. These are some great fire safety tips - thank you for this valuable information! So many of us tend to neglect this important subject simply because we just don't want to consider the possibility. But it's oh so critical to be prepared.

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals!
    Be the Change for Animals
    CindyLu's Muse