A pet is an integral part of his household. Visit his home, and you will see that it would not be the same home without his bed in the corner, his routine nap in the afternoon sun, his fur everywhere.

And of course, his place in the family’s fire evacuation plan! As National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15th) approaches, it’s crucial to consider your pets when thinking about how you can protect yourself and your family from a possible house fire.

Prevent fires in a home with pets. 

Approximately 1,000 house fires are started accidentally by pets each year. Keep them away from candles and fires in the fireplace, and never leave pets unattended with any open flame. Don’t allow cats and dogs to climb or jump up on the stove, and consider investing in stove knob covers. Look for and secure loose wires and any other potential fire hazards in your house, in order to minimize danger to you and your family.

Include your pet in your family’s escape plan

Make sure the human members of your family know what to do in case of a fire, and include your pets in any practice runs. Pay attention to where your pet likes to hide and sleep and create easy human access to these places. Keep collars, leashes, and carriers easily accessible, and have an evacuation supplies bag — with food, water, treats, bowls, medication, medical records, and a photo of your furry companion — ready for your pet as well. Train your pet to come to you when called, and make getting into his carrier or harness a positive, habitual experience so that an evacuation can be as quick and efficient as possible and so that he does not run away once you are outside.

In the event of a house fire, remain calm, and try to locate your pet and escape. If you cannot find your pet, however, evacuate the house yourself, and leave the door open. It may seem impossible to leave your furry family member behind, but it’s best to let firefighters take care of the situation rather than putting yourself in danger. After evacuating, inform firefighters of how many pets are inside and where they might be found. 

If a fire should ever hit your house, you may end up in a hotel or shelter that does not allow pets. Have a list prepared of safe places to keep your pets after an evacuation. You can find pet resources near you, including boarding, hospital, and veterinary services, using our pet service finder here: https://www.faithfulfriends.com/find-services/.

Protect your pet from house fires when you’re not at home

The thought of a disaster taking place with your pets while you’re not there to protect them is terrifying. But there are a few things you can do to prepare for the safety of your pets during a house fire in your absence. When leaving your pets home alone, if possible, keep them near the entrances so that firefighters can find and evacuate them quickly. Again, know where your pet’s hiding places are, and place a pet information sticker near your front door or window to inform rescuers of the animals that live in your household and where they may be found in an emergency if they go to hide. 

In case your pet escapes and becomes lost, make sure he wears identification with your contact information on it and have him microchipped to make it easier to be reunited. Always have a good, clear photo of your pet. It’s also a good idea to get to know your neighbors, and to introduce them to your pets; that way, a neighbor may be able to inform firefighters of the pets in your residence, and, if lost, your pets may be spotted by someone who recognizes them. 

Finally, consider equipping your home with monitored smoke alarms, which, in an emergency, alert a monitoring center that can call for first responders. When you’re not home, this may be the fastest way to get your pets’ help. 

While we wish for happy, disaster-free lives for ourselves and our pets, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of a house fire. By getting ready beforehand and knowing what to do, we can do everything in our power to protect our beloved pets.