5 Steps to Create a Pet Fire Safety Plan

5 Steps to Create a Pet Fire Safety Plan

As pet parents, we never want to imagine a scenario where our furry family members are in danger. However, with so many pets affected by house fires each year, the most loving thing we can do is plan ahead… just in case. A fire is scary for everyone – including your li'l buddy – but following these steps can help prepare you for an emergency fire situation, making you and your pet feel safer and less stressed.

1. Take Basic Safety Precautions

Everyone knows that smoke detectors are a necessity. However, a lot of people forget to change the batteries. Your pet fire safety plan should start with making sure you have multiple smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and taking care to change the batteries twice a year.

As a pet parent, you may also want to consider purchasing a monitored smoke detector, especially if your furry friend spends a lot of time home alone. A monitored smoke detector will notify the fire department if a fire starts while you’re away.

Basic safety also includes ensuring that your pet pal is wearing a collar with proper identification (including their up-to-date license) at all times. If you haven't yet, it's a good idea to consider microchipping your pet just in case you ever get separated during an emergency.

how to prevent pets from starting fires _ cat staring at a lit candle

2. Prevent Your Pet from Starting a Fire

Did you know that somewhere around 700 house fires each year are actually started by pets? This means that a big part of your pet fire safety plan should be eliminating risks in terms of your dog or cat. Here are some of the primary risks and how you can help mitigate them:

protect your pets from fire while you are not home _ Airedale terrier resting by an open door

3. Protect Your Pets When You're Away

In an ideal scenario, if a fire breaks out, you’ll be home to lead your pet to safety. However, you should take a few precautions in case your pal is home alone when a fire starts.

If you can, keep your pet near an exit while you’re away so they will have a better chance of getting out. You can use pet gates to keep them in a designated area close to an exit.

It's also smart to get a pet fire safety sticker. You can hang this cling in a visible window to alert firefighters that you have furry family members inside. The sticker will list important information, such as the number of pets, type of pets, and veterinarian contact information.

Get a free sticker today from our strategic partner The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®)!

4. Plan Your Escape Route

Just like your typical escape plan, your pet fire escape strategy starts with identifying all of the exits and planning your evacuation route. If the main doors are blocked, which windows can you use to get out? If a staircase is impassable, how else can you evacuate? Also, designate an outside meeting place for all household members that is a safe distance from the home. Here are a few fire escape tips specific to pet parents:

It's important to remember that no matter how much we love our pets, we shouldn't put our own lives, or the lives of our human family members, in danger during a fire. If you cannot locate your pet, you must evacuate. Once you're out of your home, you should not go back inside for any reason, but you may inform the fire department that your pet is inside. The professionals will work their hardest to rescue your four-legged friend.

5. Line Up a Place to Stay

If your home suffers fire damage, chances are it will be uninhabitable for a period of time. It's a good idea to plan ahead for where your dog or cat can stay during this time. Do you have a family member, neighbor, or close friend who would be willing to take in your pet until you can move back home? If not, you may want to research your options in advance.

emergency care tips for pets _ cat being rescued

Emergency Care Tips

If your pet suffers an injury during a fire, you should take them to a veterinarian or emergency veterinarian clinic as soon as possible. However, knowing some basic pet first-aid can make a big difference in an emergency situation.

It's a good idea to assemble a pet first aid kit ahead of time with items such as gauze pads, alcohol wipes, ice packs, antibiotic ointment, and towels, just to name a few. Learning how to perform CPR on your pet can also be a life-saving decision. In the meantime, here are some first-aid basics to remember:

Looking for another way to help protect your pal? Don't wait for a disaster to strike – get an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan to help cover routine visits and unexpected costs. Begin by getting a personalized quote.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.


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