(Sonya Simpkins - I Love Dogs)
Fire season is here and we want to make sure all pet parents are prepared if one should break out. There are many things to consider, so we’ll help you out by breaking them down.
A few questions first:
- Do you have an evacuation plan?
- Are your neighbors aware that you have pets?
- Have you made arrangements with them to evacuate your pets in the event of a fire and you’re not home?
- What about a first aid kit?
Fire Prevention Starts in the Home
First things first – check your smoke alarms. Are they working? Do you have batteries? Make sure you have them in or near all the bedrooms, kitchen and living areas, and that your hallways remain free of clutter in the event of an evacuation.
The next thing to do is create an evacuation plan and practice it regularly with the whole family including the dog(s). Also, designate someone to be responsible for the animals.
In addition to that, make a key for a trusted neighbor. In fact, make a couple of keys in case one neighbor is not home. It sounds like a lot, but you can never be too careful.
American Kennel Club (AKC) spokesperson Gail Miller says, “Many animal lovers consider their pets to be members of the family. In the unfortunate circumstance of a fire, the safety of the people living in the household is unquestionably most critical. However, for many families, it would be devastating to have to the tragedy of a house fire compounded by the loss of a beloved pet that could have been saved with some simple planning and forethought.”
If you can safely do so, leave a door open, or install a doggie door so that your pets can escape.
Just Say No to Candles
Replace your candles with flameless ones – especially if you have an excitable dog with a long tail. And if you insist on having real candles, please exercise caution and responsibility by keeping them out of reach and by blowing them out when you’re done with them.
“Whether it’s from your cat gracefully slinking along your windowsill or fireplace mantle, or your dog exuberantly clearing off your coffee table with his tail, unattended lit candles pose a significant fire risk to you, your pets, and all the other members of your household.” notes trupanion.com.
In fact, it was a candle that burned down Twilight actress Ashley Greene’s apartment in March. The fire killed one of her dogs, a Fox Terrier.
Are Those Electrical Cords or Chew Toys?
Electrical cords pose a real threat to your dogs. They look like chew toys to puppies, which could not only start a fire, but electrocute your dog as well.
According to trupanion.com, “If given the chance, a teething or bored pet will often happily nibble on an electrical cord. Not only should you take the precautionary steps to prevent such masticatory behavior because of the fire hazard it poses, but also because of the mouth burns and lung and nervous system damage that it’s often associated with.”
Is the Stove Off?
If you have a gas stove, make sure all of the burners are turned off, and buy stove knob covers to keep the knobs in place to prevent someone or some creature from accidentally turning one on.
Why You Need a First Aid Kit
Pack a first aid kit. Include things like any medications your dog takes, food, treats, toys, leash and collar, and most importantly, your contact information, the vet’s information and an emergency contact in case you cannot be reached.
Sticker MeGet some “Pet Alert” stickers and place them in visible areas like your front and back doors and front windows.
“These stickers, which are available free from most pet stores and non-profit humane organizations, stick to your front window and tell firefighters to ‘Please rescue my pets!’ They let fire crews know that you have pets inside the house, how many, and what kind,” says says VPI Pet Insurance.
Planning is key to keeping your dogs safe in the event of a fire. If you take the time now to put these safety measures in place, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your dogs and yourself out of harm’s way.