FIRE– IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE AT ANYTIME
Fire safety is one of those things that should be on the top of our list at all times . We usually don’t think of it until it happens to us or to someone we know.
In October 2016, Amanda Wrobel, a compassionate vet tech and agility competitor, lost her home and most of her pets in a devastating house fire. Amanda received burns over 40% of her body, (on her hands and face) trying to save her pets. If it had not been for her Sheltie, Bella, Amanda would not be here today. It was Bella who saved her life. Amanda was taking a nap, and Bella woke her up.
an escape plan that includes your pets…
Here are a few safety tips to help you be prepared for that possible emergency:
- Know where your pets are (not always easy unless they are confined in some way).
- Have enough leashes in the bedroom and beside the door for each animal and have a plan of escape from the bedroom that includes multiple pets – keeping in mind escape may not be possible except out a window.
- Pre-plan a gathering point with pet safety in mind. One of the best is to have a vehicle that may be removed from fire-danger. Put your pets in the vehicle and park at a neighbor’s house or distant place.
- Invest in various pet rescue stickers (like the one pictured below) and place them on several windows of your home. Be sure to place at least one on a front window. These pet safety stickers will alert emergency personnel to the presence of pets in your home. Pet rescue stickers should have spaces where you can write down the number and types of pets in your house.
Posters like this may be purchased HERE
- Participate in Occasional Fire Drills. Assign your pets to various family members and conduct occasional fire drills each month (including night time drills). Depending on the number of pets you have, each family member can be responsible for carrying one of them out of the house. In this way, if a fire does occur, you will all be prepared.
- As part of your fire drill, practice with a recorded smoke-alarm-sound. Start with the alarm as barely audible and slowly increase the volume over time so they adjust to the sound. They will then know what to do when they hear that alarm.
- Train your pet to come when called – no matter what!
- Prepare a Pet Safety Emergency Kit and keep it next to your front door or in the trunk of your car. Some items you will want to place in the pet emergency kit include a list of pet-friendly accommodations, leashes, a few pet toys, your pet’s medical records, a current photo of your pet, multiple bowls, a bottle of water and appropriate pet food.
Keep Identification on Your Pet. Unfortunately, many pets are misplaced when there are fires. However, you can help locate your pet if you make sure that it is wearing a name tag with your current phone number. Another option is to take your pet to your veterinarian and invest in a microchip.
- When you are not home, confine your pets to a smaller area so they can be easily found.
A SAFE HOME
You will want to make sure to do the following around your home:
- Install Smoke and CO detectors throughout your home. Purchase COMBO-HERE or SMOKE-HERE and CO-HERE. Carbon monoxide is heavier than air… because dogs are usually on the floor, they are susceptible to earlier and longer stronger doses than a human. Read THIS.
- Loose 9-Volt batteries cause fires! Check your house, garage (drawers and storage bins) for this serious potential fire-starter!
- Take care of exposed or loose wires.
- Do not leave open flames unattended (pets are typically curious to check out things
that look “playful”). Never leave your pet unattended around an open flame.
- Remove stove knobs or add covers (stove tops are the #1 equipment involved in pet fires).
- Invest in flameless candles.
- Avoid placing glass water bowls on a wooden deck (the glass can heat up and cause the wood beneath it to catch on fire!).
- Always put out and turn off open flames such as candles, gas stoves, and fireplaces before leaving or going to bed.
- Pet-proof areas where your pet could accidentally start a fire such as around propane tanks, loose live wires, or cooking appliances.