You’ve probably already considered a vague fire evacuation plan for your home. You’ve thought through how to safely exit your home with your children, pets, and wedding photos. You’ve removed unsafe and flammable objects. But did you know that kenneling your dogs is a way to establish fire safety in your home?
Sadly, about 40,000 pets die in house fires yearly according to the American Veterinarian Medical Association. While we can’t always prevent disasters, it’s important to take precautionary steps to keep your home and your pet safe.
Fred Gerstacker, a kennel customer and firefighter in Pennsylvania gives us some practical advice on pet safety. He says the best way to keep your pets safe is to treat them like a child. Homes should be pet proofed just as they are baby proofed. That means hiding cords, eliminating choking hazards, and supervising your pets when at home.
But we understand that sometimes dogs are home alone or out when we go to sleep. So how can we keep them safe in our absence?
According to Gerstacker, “The advantages of dog kennels are immense when talking about fire safety! Listen, we all want to know where our pet is at all times, right? Then why would you not want the same when you are not at home? They should be safe and away from harms’ way. I mean, these are members of our family! When a fire or other emergency happens in the home, there’s nothing better than knowing exactly where your pet(s) are, this takes away the need to find them when you might need to exit the house in a hurry. If you should need an ambulance, having a dog crated or kenneled helps keep your pet from interfering with emergency medical care. This saves the task of that 2 am ambulance call having to lock a pet in the bedroom or trying to keep your pet away from family members needing medical care.”
Gerstacker stated the primary reason pets become victims in house fires is because they hide and homeowners aren’t sure if the pet is in the house or has run away. Crating eliminates the uncertainty of a pet’s location, which could be the difference between life and death.
Outside of crating, here are some action points Gerstacker gives for keeping your pets safe:
- If you have a pet finder sticker on your window, make sure it is accurate. Here is a link for two options on Etsy- STICKER OPTION 1 or STICKER OPTION 2
- Many 911 centers have the ability of adding special “alerts” into their computer systems for responders to let them know special situations. (a special needs child, elderly grandmother staying with them, pet alerts, weapons in the home, etc). Write a letter or give a non-emergency call to the 911 center and let them know where a pet can be located in your home should an emergency happen.
- Check out these articles, Fire Safety and Your Pets: Keeping Them Safe from the Unexpected and Protect Your Pet from Home Fires for more tips on how to protect your pets.
Gerstacker, who owns two Dalmatians, wants people to remember that a crated dog is a safe dog.
Here are Cairo and Lou looking regal and safe in front of their custom wooden dog crate.
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