The Vet Experts
How To Prepare For A House Fire With Pets
Each year, more than 500,000 pets are injured by home fires, and 1,000 of them are started by the pets themselves. It's no fun but it's necessary to take a couple of minutes and make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure your furry friends are safe in an emergency.
Preventing A Fire
Open flames are one of the most common ways that your pet can start a fire in your home. Never having unsupervised candles or fires in your fireplaces, or using an enclosed fireplace and candles instead, are the best ways to prevent fires from open flames.
You may also want to think about placing covers over or removing stove knobs and discouraging climbing in the kitchen, this might help prevent your pet from bumping up against a dial and filling your house with gas.
As your pets saunter around the house, they can chew on electrical cord making lamps a possible fire hazard. Hide wires and be certain they are out of reach from your pets. When outdoors, never set a glass jar on a porch as the rays of the sun can heat the bowl, causing a fire in your wooden deck.
Try with a ceramic water bowl or stainless-steal dishes instead. If you need any additional information on what could be a risk, feel free to contact your local urgent care vet or emergency vet.
Getting Ready For A Fire
The number one step in preparing your family and pet for a fire is to have a plan and make sure everyone in the household knows what to do. Do a few run throughs and practice with the entire family so that everyone knows whose job it is to grab your furry friend and whose it is to grab your emergency supplies (food, medication, water, a photograph of your pet, leashes and carriers, and health care records).
Assigning roles will reduce any scrambling if the time comes and efficacy is needed. Acting quickly in locating your furry friend is imperative, so make sure you know where he or she likes to hide and how to get them out of that spot quickly.
If you can’t get to your pet or aren’t home at the time, set a sticker in your house's front window indicating the number and type of pets you have. This will will help the firefighters know that your pet needs to be rescued. In the event your pet escapes during a fire, make sure that the contact information on their collar and microchip is up to date.
Finally, to help make sure your pets get the help they need if you're not home during a house fire, install smoke detectors that are connected to emergency services to ensure if your pet is home alone that help will be sent. As soon as you find out there is a fire at your house, contact your local urgent care vet or emergency vet and let them know what's going on and that your pet may need care.
During A Fire
As part of your emergency response plan, try and remember to grab your pet's leash and/or carrier on the way out of the house with your pet. Outside your home will be chaotic, and your pet might try to escape to a safer area, so having a lash with you will be helpful in keeping them close by. If it takes too long to locate or secure your pets, leave a door or window open and get to a safe area.
Once you're in the safe area outside, call for them. You should never delay escape or endanger your family or yourself to rescue your family pet. When responders get there make sure to tell them if your pets are still inside. They will do their best to get them out safely and contact your local urgent care vet or emergency vet immediately.
If you need a window sticker or helpful tips on what to do with your pets in the event of a fire feel free to contact us anytime. You can also contact your local fire department as well. We hope you never find yourself in this position, but Companion Veterinary & Urgent Care Center is here for you and your pets if you do.