Having a fire safety plan is an important thing for any family, but while making up your family’s plan for what to do in case of emergency, don’t forget to include your four-legged family members in your course of action.

This year has already been a rough year for firefighters, victims of fires and their families. Within the past week alone, Massachusetts has seen three major alarm fires tear through buildings in three separate cities/towns (Beverly, Lowell, and Lawrence) – these on the heels of the April fire on Beacon Street in Boston, that claimed the lives of two firefighters.

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With this, FOUR PAWS International wants to remind pet owners of some very important fire safety tips:

1. Pet Proof Your Home

Look around your house and notice any areas where pets might accidentally start fires (i.e. loose wires, stove knobs, tree/plant lights, candles, etc.)

2. Always Remember to Extinguish Open Flames

Before leaving a room, or leaving your home. Curious, pets will often explore candles, fireplaces, and cooking appliances.

3. Confine Puppies and Kittens to Secure Areas

When you are away from your home, so that their young curious natures are not so inviting to potential hazards.

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4. Practice Escape Routes With Your Pets

Keep collars (with updated I.D. tags) and leashes readily available in case you have to evacuate quickly.

5. Use Pet Alert Window Stickers

Affix Pet Alert window stickers to one window on each side of your house, on each floor. On the sticker, note how many pets are inside the home, and the types of pets. List the pet’s names so that they will not be afraid if a firefighter or rescuer calls out to them. Keep this sticker information updated – it will save firefighters time and will assist them in looking for your pets inside your home. These stickers are also good for pet identification purposes in the event of a disaster in your area.

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6. Monitored Smoke Detectors 

Use monitored smoke detectors if at all possible, since pets left alone cannot escape a burning home. Using a smoke detector that will notify you or local authorities if it is set off will not only keep you up to date, but can be a vital tool in rescuing any pets left alone at home.

Image source: Dayna Hilton/Wikimedia Commons

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