Pet Safety Tips
Every member of the family should know your home’s escape plan, pets included. You’ve likely talked to your spouse and other family members about what to do in the event of an emergency, but have you also factored your pets into the equation as well? The United States Fire Administration estimates that 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires. Before your smoke detector system alerts you of a fire, here’s what you should know about including your pet into your fire safety plan.
Include Your Pets in Your Escape Plan
Pets should have their own safety plan in case of an emergency. What family member is in charge of making sure your pet escapes safely? This should be an adult. Collars should be on your pet at all times and if leashes are necessary, make sure they are easily accessible. Also note their hiding spots to hep with a faster evacuation. However, in the event of an emergency, your number on priority should be escaping safely. Never return into a burning building or house to rescue your pet if they were not able to escape with you, instead alert the fire fighters.
Improve Their Safety When Home Alone
To help ensure your pet is safe even while you're not home, use a pet gate to keep your animals in the main living area for easy rescue in the case of an emergency. Invest in a pet-alert window cling near each entrance and write down the number of pets inside your house. This will inform firefighters of the presence and number of pets in your home. If the number of pets in your home changes, make sure that you update the pet window cling.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more you and your family practice your fire escape plan, the more prepared you will be in the event of a fire. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year, including crating your pets, to help make it an easier experience. To practice, sound your smoke alarm and try to have the entire family meet outside at your designated meeting spot in as little time as possible.
Protect Against The Silent Killer
Due to their smaller size, your pet may be affected by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning before you. Signs of CO poisoning can include weakness, sudden vomiting, difficulty breathing, seizures and even loss of consciousness. The only way to detect carbon monoxide is by equipping your home with working CO alarms. For whole home protection against both fire and CO, install combination alarms with 2-in-1 protection, such as the Combination Photoelectric Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with 10-Year Battery, which eliminates battery replacements for a decade. Once installed, maintenance is key. Remember to test your alarms regularly and replace smoke alarms every 10 years and CO alarms every five to seven years, depending on the model.
Help Prevent Pets from Starting Fires
Believe it or not, pets are capable of accidentally starting house fires. Pets have a general curiosity, causing them to explore candles, appliances and even fireplaces. Wagging tails and pawing kittens can haphazardly knock over candles which can potentially cause a fire. Additionally, avoid electrical fires by securing loose wires and running long cords behind couches or other out-of-reach locations to prevent them from being chewed. Don’t leave your pet unattended around fire hazards and try to keep them away from these fire hazards at all times.