October is National Fire Safety Month: Are You Prepared?


According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected by home fires each year. Motivated by fire-related injury claims, Petplan launched their pet rescue window alert campaign in 2008 to help save more pets in emergencies.

Here in California, October is the cruelest month, as our tinder-dry hills explode into flames. Pets are often casualties, but that need not be the case if you prepare for fire ahead of time.

Take Action

Bell, chip and tag your pets. Often, during the stress of a house fire animals can successfully escape — only to become hopelessly lost. Adding a good loud bell to your cat’s collar will make it easier to find your cat, even when she’s buried beneath rubble.

You should have a cat carrier for each of your cats, stored in an easy-to-access spot. No need to break the bank — you can buy foldup versions like the Cosmic Pet Shuttle Cardboard Carrier that fold flat for easy storage. Each costs just over $4.

Add a decal/sign to the front of your house or apartment alerting firefighters to the number and species of your animals.

Pets often hide during fires. Knowing the pets name or where they might be located can be helpful. Pet rescue alerts need to be kept up to date for the safety of family pets and our firefighters, cautions Lt. Kevin Grogan of the Eastchester Fire Department in New York.

Free decals are available for each of your animals from PetPlan. It provides a photo and a description of the pet’s favorite hidey spot.

Help fire departments procure appropriate pet safety gear, including oxygen masks.

In honor of October is National Fire Safety Month Petplan pet insurance and WagN Enterprises pet safety gear are joining forces to offer free rescue window alerts for dogs and cats. Petplan offers the only window alerts that can be customized to feature a loved pets photo, name, and potential hiding spots to help expedite rescue. For every 100 pet rescue alerts created during October and November, a pet oxygen mask kit will be donated to a U.S. fire department.

Pet oxygen masks are crucial at the scene of a fire to prevent the harmful effects of smoke inhalation. The access to oxygen can mean the difference of life and death for a pet, advises Dr. Ernie Ward of Seaside Animal Care in North Carolina.

Most fire stations are not equipped with pet oxygen masks to assist animals in medical distress. Chanel, a Yorkshire terrier, barely survived smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning from a house fire in Pennsylvania.

Locating a pet in a fire is only the first step. Saving the pets life is another.

To keep pets safe, free personalized pet rescue alerts are available on Petplans webpage (http://www.GoPetplan.com/firesafety). The number of WagN Oxygen Mask Kits donated to fire departments will be based on the number of uploaded photos during the national campaign running October 1st November 30th.

It’s a Win-Win, dontcha think?

[PHOTO: oxygenmasks4pets.org]

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