A home fire would put your family at risk, even your furry friends. Hopefully you have an escape plan that your family is aware of so that if there is a fire, everyone knows how to react. Have you thought of how your pets could factor into this plan? Having some specific strategies in place can help you protect your furry family better in case of a fire.
- If you keep your pets in a certain area of your home when you are away from home, try to keep them near an exit. If a fire were to occur when you are out, your pets are more likely to be found by fire professionals. Make sure there are leashes, etc. in that area so that emergency personnel can safely remove pets.
- When you’re practicing your escape plan, make sure you practice taking your pets with you. Training pets to come when you call can help make this process faster. If you’re not practicing your plan, you should be.
- Know where your pets frequently hide, in case you need to find them quickly. There are circumstances where you might have to leave too quickly to get your pets. Getting yourself out of the house has to be the priority, but knowing where to have fire personnel look for your pets can make it more likely that they are rescued.
- If you have to evacuate without your pet, leave a door open so your pets can escape on their own. Make sure someone is watching the area so that your pets don’t escape and become lost or run away. You can call for your pets, especially dogs, from near the doorway to try to urge them out. Be sure you’re a safe distance from the fire.
- Just like there are window clings to notify firefighters where children may be in your home, you can do the same for pets. You can get these clings free from the ASPCA or your vet may have some available.
It’s also important to make sure that your pets can’t cause a home fire. Leaving unaccompanied open flames around your pets is a problem. Candles can draw pets to them when lit and can be knocked over by a pet, which can start a fire. If your pet can reach the knobs on your stove, it is important to remove those knobs or find a way to keep them from being accidently activated. Pets accidentally turning on the stove is more common than you might think. Lastly, stay vigilant about electric wires, appliances, etc. that are within your pets’ reach and that could be damaged and spark, causing a fire.