Having a fire safety plan is vital. Having one that includes your pet can mean the difference between life and death for the four-legged members of the family. In the panic that ensues in a fire emergency, pets are often left behind to fend for themselves.
Don't be caught off guard. Follow these tips to create a viable and realistic emergency action plan that will protect you and your pets in the case of a fire.
Fire Safety Tips: Drills Should Be Realistic
Home fire drills should always include pets and be as realistic as possible. The pet owners should mimic the confusion and excitement of a real fire emergency. Like children, pets will easily become confused during a fire. Owners can help prevent this by teaching their pets simple commands and directions.
Fire Safety Tips: Keep Leashes and Carriers on Hand
Since animals (and humans, too) can be come easily confused during an emergency, leashes should always be kept in the same place so they can quickly be located during the rush to evacuate a burning home.
Pet owners should also have carriers on hand. Some shelters do not allow pets without them.
Fire Safety Tips: Compile an Animal Emergency Kit
An animal emergency kit should also be compiled and include a bag of food, bottled water and a portable crate for small pets and a leash for large dogs. A cat owner's emergency kit should include a litter box and litter.
Fire Safety Tips: Make Firefighters Aware of Pets
Placing stickers to alert firefighters that pets are in a home will help save their lives as well. Firefighters have the obligation of protecting people and property first, and they will save pets if possible.
Fire Safety Tips: Keep Pet First Aid Items On Hand
Once the pets are removed from a burning building, they will most likely be suffering from smoke inhalation. Oxygen masks for humans will not fit furry friends, so even when they are saved from a fire, they sometimes succumb to smoke inhalation. But pets that are rescued from house fires can now have a chance at life with a mask specially made to fit over a dog or cat's face. Since their debut in 2006, many fire trucks are now equipped with these animal oxygen recovery masks. They come in a variety of sizes to fit Chihuahuas, Mastiffs and all the sizes in between.
Fire Safety Tips: Practice Makes Perfect
Every fire safety plan should be tailored to the layout of each home, and the size and number of pets in the home. Practicing an escape route and evacuation plan can help pet owners prepare for the unthinkable.
Final Note: make sure, if you have to let your pet out without being supervised or attended to, that they have no way to re-enter your house. Your pet feels that their home is a safe zone and may try to re-enter it