It's still technically October, albeit late in the month, and I'm not sure how many of you know that October is National Animal Safety and Protection month. I didn't until I attended the H.H. Backer's Christmas Trade Show in Rosemont earlier this month. In addition to seeing all the wonderful things I saw and likewise will be seeing on store shelves and online that are pet-related throughout this Christmas season, I received their October 2011 edition of the trade magazine, petage. Very informative. The content of this blog is essentially borrowed (although a bit edited) from an article I found there, titled "Fire Safety 101" which discusses how pet owners can protect their pets from fire hazards in their homes. The magazine encourages people to pass along these tips, even via Facebook, so I'm not technically 'stealing.' The following tips in their article were provided by an electronic security company, Protection 1, located in Wichita, KS and lists 8 specific suggestions:
- Conceal wires. Pets seem to be fascinated by them, especially when young. Damaged wires can cause fires, so try to keep wires from the reach of pets whenever possible.
- Be careful with candles. I remember attending a Christmas tree lighting ceremony a number of years ago, done in the traditional Bavarian style of having lit candles on the tree. Rather than enjoying the wonderful party, I stood both mesmerized and terrified that the tree and house would burn down. Fortunately I was not invited to the party the following year. So, do not leave open flames unattended as curious pets can knock over candles or disturb fireplaces. My 2 dogs are fascinated by whatever is put in gas fireplaces to resemble ashes. When they were puppies we needed to barricade that area of our home.
- Plan ahead. Have a home fire safety plan that includes your pets as well as you. Make sure that plan accounts for crates or cages if you crate your pets at night.
- Identify the pet. Put the pet's license and other ID tags on its collar in case of separation.
- Give pets an escape route, if possible. If you live in a home, consider installing a pet door so pets have the chance to escape if fire breaks out and they are home alone.
- Ground them. Not like your teenagers when then misbehave. Keep pets on the ground floor when they're home alone so they'll be easier to rescue.
- Include your neighbors. Give a key to your neighbor and make sure they know where pets are kept so they can relay the information to the firefighters.
- Monitor. Most pets can't dial 911. Think about installing monitored smoke detectors so that the fire department can be dispatched automatically if a fire breaks out.
Their suggestions were certainly an eye-opener for me, although we do have pet stickers on our front and back doors. I know that many of them may be obvious, but it never hurts to have a review.