Having to worry about your family and pets during a house fire is a scary thought. However, planning ahead can help ensure that EVERYONE in the home gets out safely. Here are some tips to to help avoid potential fires in the home, and things you can do to make sure all your family members (furry or otherwise) make it out safely.
- Extinguish Open Flames – Pets are often curious, and want to investigate candles, fireplaces, or appliances. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
- Pet Proof the Home – Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as the stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards. Cats are especially curious about cords or anything that looks like a string, so secure all cords as much as possible.
- Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.
- Keep Pets Near Entrances – When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- 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.
- Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Use monitored smoke detectors which are connected to monitoring center personnel that call the fire department.
- 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. You can obtain a free window cling by going to the ASPCA website here.
- Keep Your Information Updated – Firefighters are familiar with pet alert window clings so keep the number of pets listed on them updated. Knowing the accurate number of pets in the house aids rescuers in finding all of your pets.
- Keep Identification On/In Your Pets – Pets can get lost in house fires, escaping from rescue personnel or out a burning door or window. Having a pet running loose is a scary thing, but if they are wearing identification tags or are microchipped, they have a much better chance of being returned to you. Ensure all information is kept up to date.
- If your pet has been exposed to smoke – Have him/her examined by a veterinarian immediately! Smoke inhalation is serious but can often be treated if you act quickly! Toxic fumes can be deadly.
Having to worry about your furry family members is the last thing you want to do when your home is at risk. Follow the steps above to give your pets the best chance possible!
Community Outreach Coordinator, EAH
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