Pet Fire Safety

Pets hold a special place in our hearts, especially with the Walker Fire Department. That's why all front-line engines carry medical supplies, including oxygenKit with oxygen masks for dogsdelivery, for your pet. We have used these to revive pets affected by smoke inhalation. It's all thanks to a local veterinarian who supplied us with this equipment to help save our fur-ever friends.

However, as pet owners know, our animals can be mischievous. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 1,000 home fires each year are started by family pets. Kidde provides simple safety tips that can make a big impact in protecting your family and pets.

Pet proofing: Like with human children, homes most often require pet-proofing. Pay careful attention to objects such as stove knobs and hot appliances that can be knocked over or turned on by curious pets. Never leave a lit candle within reach of a pet. Discard or store leftover food out of reach to prevent pets from trying to grab it (i.e. avoid leaving food on the stove).

Train pets to alarm sound: Dogs may become unsettled or anxious when a smoke alarm sounds, running and hiding rather than heading toward the door. Kidde recommends families work with skilled, professional trainers to help their canine friends learn how to properly respond to alarms.

Window clings: In an emergency, first responders need to be able to quickly assess the number of pets in a home. Consider attaching a remFirefighter with dog on his lapovable/replaceable decal to a window near entrances to let rescuers know how many animals are inside.

Include pets in escape plans: Pets should always be included in a family's evacuation plan. Stay aware of their typical hiding spots and where they often nap in case you must evacuate quickly, and assign a family member to account for each pet. Keep an emergency kit with food, medication, and a leash near the exit. When you're not home, keep pets in areas near entrances where emergency responders can easily find them.

When you leave home: Pets can be mischievous, so consider confining them to a specific area, ideally close to an entrance - using items like a crate or dog gates - to keep them safe and to make it easier for first responders to remove them quickly to safety in case of emergency.

Replace alarms at 10 years: Smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years. In addition to testing alarms once each week, check the manufactured date on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they're current. If they're older than 10 years of age, it's time to replace them.

Plan ahead: Save contact information for your veterinarian in a place where you and other family members can easily access it, such as your phone contacts or a cloud-based shared file. Research local boarding options, hotels that allow pets, and friends or family members who might take in your pet temporarily. Also, be sure your pet's microchip information is current in case you become separated in an emergency.