Do you have a plan in place to protect your pets if your home were to suddenly go up in flames? If you don't, you should. We have several tips from American Humane on how to prevent your pets from accidentally starting a fire, ways you should prepare, and what to do should a fire occur.
Reduce open flame exposures. You can do this by making sure to never leave a lit candle or fire in the fireplace unsupervised. Another way to reduce exposures is to put covers over the knobs on your stove so that your pet doesn't rub up on it and cause it to turn on.
You should also secure loose wires, because your pet may think it is a chew toy.
If your pet has a water bowl or food bowl outside on a wooden porch, make sure that the bowl is ceramic or metal - not GLASS. Bowls made from glass can attract the sun's heat and cause your porch to catch on fire!
Secure younger pets when you are not home to separate them from fire-starting hazards.
PREPARING FOR A FIRE
Create an emergency plan that includes your pets and practice it with your family. Who will grab the pets? Who will grab your emergency supplies? Having a plan in place can be life-saving!
Become familiar with your pet's hiding places so that you can quickly grab them!
You can get a free window cling from ASPCA to put in your window that will let firefighters know how many pets your have inside. This can be quite important during a fire because it cuts down on the time that firefighters spend looking for your pets. You can apply for a 'Pet Safety Pack' at https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack.
Put your pet's name on their collar and make sure their microchip is up-to-date. If your pet goes missing during a fire, this is the best way to make sure they are returned to you.
DURING A FIRE
Grab your pet, their leash, and their carrier as you escape the building. House fires will spook your pet and they may try to escape to a safer area. It is important to keep them close by and secure.
If it takes too long to locate your pet, you should exit your home and leave the door open. You can start calling for them once you are safe from the fire. Once the firefighters or first responders are on site, let them know if you have pet(s) inside so that they can continue searching for them.
If your pets will not come to you, we recommend waiting outside away from the fire for the first responders to arrive and rescue your pet(s).