July 15th is National Pet Fire Safety Day. Across the country, responsible animal guardians are marking this occasion by taking the necessary steps to help reduce the estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires each year.
As residents of Los Angeles, we know that around this time of year conditions in our area create a perfect storm for increased risk of wildfires. We watch these wildfires rip through neighborhoods on the evening news—devastating entire families. That’s why it is increasingly important to include our animals in emergency fire escape plans.
Our companion animals look out for us every day. It’s up to us to return the favor. As a service to our devoted supporters, PAWS/LA would like to share the American Kennel Club’s and ADT Security Service’s tips to keep pets safe from house fires.
“National Pet Fire Safety Day” Tips to Keep Pets Safe from House Fires:
- 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 obtain a free window cling by going to www.adt.com/pets or at AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days events. Details are available at www.akc.org.
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.