National Pet Fire Safety Day is July 15th! Did you know that nearly 500,000 pets are involved in a house fire each year? With about 1,000 of them started by homeowners pets! This is a day to spread awareness about not only how to keep your pet(s) safe during a house fire, but also how your pets themselves could potentially start one!

The most important thing to keep in mind if you suspect a fire – if the home is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets!  Evacuate quickly and safely.  Be sure to follow the fire safety personnel’s orders when they arrive on scene! They know how to properly enter a burning house – it’s what they are trained to do! Lucky for me, my best friend is a firefighter! He gave some great advice about fire safety for pets (and people):

  • Ways to inform firemen about the pet(s) in your home besides the fire safety sticker in the window. You can inform the local fire department about the pet(s) in your home by submitting a letter listing all the information about your pet(s). This letter should include information such as type of pet, location of pet, etc.
  • How can you keep yourself safe and rescue your pet? How do you know when a fire is unsafe to re-enter? In the event of a house fire, it is very important for you to reach safety immediately. Some ideas to make it easier and safe to rescue you and your pet from danger is to always sleep near your pet(s) or have them located near an exit in your home.  For the times that you’re away from home, you should always keep a form of identification on your pet(s) such as a collar, as well as keeping them near an exit, making it easier for Emergency Responders to find and rescue your pet(s). Once you have reached safety outside of your home, you must remain there until the Fire Department arrives, and you can inform them of any possible pet(s) that may have been left inside your home. DO NOT endanger your life by re-entering your house in the event of a fire!
  • What is one thing you wish pet owners knew about house fires? The most important thing is to get everyone IMMEDIATELY evacuated to safety and to never re-enter the house, even if that means leaving things behind. Also, I encourage every homeowner to have working smoke detectors in their homes, giving them an early warning, making it faster to get everyone to safety.

There are many ways to evacuate your pet(s) and keep them safe in the case of a fire:

  • Display a Rescue Alert sticker. This sticker will let the firemen know what kind of pets you have and how many you have.
  • You should also make note or know your pet(s) favorite hiding places. This will ensure the firemen are able to search in these specific places first for your pet(s).
  • Be sure to always have identification on your pet. You should include your name, your phone number, and their Rabies information. This is important in case any of your pets evacuate without anybody seeing, they can then be returned to you when it is safe.
  • Prepare an emergency first aid kit for your pets. This should include medications your pet takes, bandages, blankets, treats, toys, extra leashes, carries, and most importantly a recent picture of your pet. For further emergency kit information, please visit our blog for how to be prepared for an emergency.
  • Keep leashes near an easy accessible exit door. This will ensure the firefighters are able to remove your pet(s) from your home safely.
  • If you keep your pet(s) in crates while you are at work or not home, be sure the crates are near a door they are able to exit the house quickly.
  • Always have a “Safe Haven” for your pets. This is going to be a caregiver/place they can stay safe while you are not able to stay in your home. This could be a boarding facility, a family member or friend’s house.

There are many reasons home fires may start. Did you ever think your pet(s) could cause one? There are a few ways that pet(s) can start fires in your home. Things that you should be aware of are:

  • Open flamed candles are the biggest concern! Pets are able to knock over open flame candles that can easily start a fire in your home. Flameless candles are the best pet friendly candles to keep your home smelling nice!
  • If your pet(s) are able to access the knobs on your stove, cover them up! Be sure they are safely covered so that your pet(s) are not able to turn them.
  • Check your home for other potential hazards that could start a fire. This could include loose wires, piles of paper, rubber, etc.