To help reduce the estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires each year, the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services launched the inaugural “National Pet Fire Safety Day” In 2010. This nationwide 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.
“One of the hallmarks of responsible dog ownership is keeping pets safe and planning for unexpected emergencies, including house fires,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Pet proofing the home, developing pet-friendly escape routes and alerting rescuers of your pet’s presence with ‘window clings’ is the best way to keep your four-legged family member from harm.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Practicing 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 a monitoring center, providing an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
- 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 get a window cling free from the ASPCA at https://secure.aspca.org/form/free-pet-safety-pack
- 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.