Did you know that 500,000 pets are affected by house fires each year? And that 40,000 pets die each year in house fires? And 1,000 fires are STARTED by pets each year?! (Bad Fido!) This Friday July 15 is Pet Fire Safety Day. So we will talk about how to prevent fires in regards to pets and how to be prepared for an emergency.
PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES
- Cover the knobs on your stove. Big pets (and sneaky cats) can bump into or knock the knobs causing the flame to ignite. Knob covers are an inexpensive solution to this problem.
- Consider open flames, such as candles. Extinguish all flames if you are not in the room. You might want to reconsider candles even if you’re in the room if you have rowdy pets. Even if your pet isn’t too rowdy, one swipe of the tail and that candle can become a fire.
- Pet-Proof your home. Just as you would for a baby, walk around your home to notice potential hazards and fire starters such as loose wire.
- Secure young pets. Even with your best efforts, accidents can still happen. Crating your young pets while you are away can prevent tragic accidents from happening.
Fireman, Chew on This customer and friend, John, said he has experienced fires started from all of the above. He also said that dogs tend to try to escape while cats tend to get scared and will hide. Since pets are such vital, loved members of our family, how can you be prepared for an emergency? John stated having a “Fire Rescue Alert” sticker on your window is a great idea. Or even a “Beware of Dog” sign they will notice.
BE PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY
- Get a “Rescue Alert” sticker. This weekend at Chew on This you can pick up a “Fire Rescue Alert” sticker to take home and hang on your window. We have these year round behind the counter (just ask us) but this weekend they will be out on the counter for all to grab. Firefighters are familiar with these stickers and recommend keeping the number of pets updated.
- Have an emergency plan. When making your emergency plan have things like a communications plan. Picking a family member who doesn’t live in the home will be a good contact person. Everyone in your home should have this person’s phone numbers (landline and cell phone) and email address. Have a pre-identified meeting place in case people get separated you can all meet up and know who still needs to be helped. Having a place to stay while recovering from an emergency is a good idea as well. Since a lot of hotels and Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets due to health and safety regulations. It’s a good idea to call nearby shelters to see if they will hold your pets in an emergency situation. Some “no pets” policies in hotels/motels may be waived as well in an emergency situation. It will be good to know this information ahead of time.
- Make an emergency kit. Assemble a portable kit with enough supplies to last seven days. Some things to include are pet medications & medical records, leashes, harnesses, current photos in case they get lost, bowls, poop bags, food, bottled water and emergency contact numbers. Another good thing to have would be the list of places you called (see above) that will accept your pets in emergency situations. Have your kit made and kept in a safe location near the exit for easy access.
- Use monitored smoke detectors. If the sensor/smoke detector is triggered in your home the 24/7 monitoring system will contact you to make sure it wasn’t just your cooking. If there’s no response (i.e. a fire started while you are away) or if you answer and let them know it’s not just your bad cooking, they will dispatch emergency response services to help you, your home and your family. This is IDEAL for pet owners because pets cannot escape on their own and if a fire starts while you are away, the firefighters can arrive at your home sooner rather than later.
- Keep identification on your pet. Keep up to date license and contact information on your pet at all times. This can be easily done with a collar and tags. For an extra layer of protection (or if you prefer to have no collar on your pets) get them microchipped as well. Make sure the tags and microchip information are kept up to date.
Thinking about such emergencies can be scary but being prepared will take SOME of the confusion and panic away should disaster strike. Our pets are our babies and it’s always a good idea to be safe rather than sorry!!
As mentioned above, please stop by Chew on This Dog Barkery this weekend to pick up a window “Fire Rescue” sticker. We have these available year round behind the counter but we have them out on the counter this weekend. Stay safe!!