Half a million pets are affected by home fires every year; establishing a pet-friendly fire escape plan can save your pet’s life.

How to Keep Pets Safe at Home

Since not all fires can be prevented, a little advanced thought and preparation is a good idea. From including your pets in your family’s disaster and emergency evacuation plans to helping to equip your local fire department with pet-specific oxygen masks, there are some important steps you can take to improve your pet’s chances of survival in the unfortunate event that a fire strikes your home.

  • Take an afternoon and draw up a disaster preparedness plan for your family. Be sure to include the non-human members of your crew, as well. Conduct annual “dry runs” of your evacuation plan with your family.
  • Have plenty of smoke detectors throughout your house, ensuring that you’ve got at least one on each level. Test them and replace the batteries regularly.
  • Put “Pet Alert” stickers on the inside of your front door windows so that firefighters and other first-responders will know that there may be animals inside that may need saving.
  • If you’re like most people, and spend a lot of time outside of your home, consider having monitored fire and smoke detectors installed throughout your home. This way, the fire department will know to respond even if you and your neighbors aren’t home.
  • Keep a leash, carrier, or even a spare pillowcase near where your pets sleep. These can help you control them and lead them to safety in the event that an evacuation needs to happen in the middle of the night.
  • Contact your local fire department and ask if they have pet-specific oxygen masks. If they do, great – thank them. If not though, help them raise the funds to get some. This can be a great school or scout project for your kids to initiate. Or collaborate with your veterinarian and/or pet supply store to create a local fundraising drive.