According to the United States Fire Administration, approximately 500,000 pets are affected by fires and about 1,000 pets accidentally start fires each year. We spoke with Blum client, Dan Midell, who is a firefighter about tips to keeping your pet safe in case of a fire.
During his 8-year career as a firefighter, Dan has seen about 30-40 fires where there was a pet on the scene. While he said the pet stickers on doors or windows are good in theory, since firefighters are working quickly to extinguish the fire they may be easily missed. If you would like to use the pet stickers, Dan recommends using more than one and putting them in different locations; besides the front door putting another one on the fridge or back door. Dan said the best way to alert a firefighter about pets in the house is in person – notify the firefighters in white helmets, coats or shirts, since they are typically the ones in charge.
Most owners feel like their pets are part of the family and will factor their well-being into any emergency situation. Dan recommends having an emergency plan and knowing your where pet’s like to hang out or hide because pets tend to panic and hide during a fire. One of the most important pieces of advice that Dan recommends is that if you live in an apartment or condo, and you are unable to locate your pet during a fire DO NOT leave the door open for them when you leave. While we think this will help our furry family members escape, it will actually lead to the fire spreading more rapidly and can affect other units instead of just the original one.
If you have any further questions about how to keep your pet safe during a fire or tips to pet proof your home, please call us at Blum at: (773) 327-4446.
Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.