Are You Ready for a Fire?

Do You Have a Plan for ALL of Your Family in the Event of a Fire?

Have you or a loved one ever gone through a structure fire? Do you worry about what would happen if one broke out in your home? Having a concrete disaster plan in place can make a huge difference in the overall outcome and  amount of loss incurred, yet most of us don’t have one. Even if we do, it may not include specifics regarding the furry members of your family. Here are a few tips on how best to prepare to care for your pets in a fire emergency. Why not take half an hour right now to put some of these suggestions into place?

Preparing for fire:

Include your pet in your family emergency plan and make sure to practice the plan regularly.

You’ll want to rehearse the plan with all members of the family so everyone knows what they’re supposed to do and when. Remember, families change, new babies come into the picture, you move houses, or the kids switch rooms and maybe one of them now sleeps in the basement.

  • Who is responsible for grabbing the carriers and the leash?
  • Where will they be kept that provides easy access? 
  • Have you arranged a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave you home?

Include your pets when you practice your plan of escape!

It’s always best to be prepared by checking your disaster plan every few months and whenever any major changes in the home occur.

Make sure your pet’s tags and microchip info are up-to-date at all times.

This will help if or when your pet should escape without you during a fire and ensure that if they’re found, they get back to you safely.

Put a pet decal on your front door or window that indicates you’ve got pets in the home.

Since fur families change, be sure to keep your decal up-to-date as well. If you’re unable to give this information to authorities yourself, these decals might just save your fur kids’ lives

Know your pet’s typical reaction to stress.

Do they hide somewhere inside or outside of the house when stressed? Do they go to a neighbor’s house and tremble under the porch? Maybe they hide in your kids’ closet behind the blankets? Knowing this could save you some very precious time when searching for your pet in an emergency.

During a fire:

Grab your family and your pet as quickly as possible and leave the home.

If you’re unable to find your pet, leave. Once proper authorities arrive, let them know that you have pets inside and let them search for them. You should never endanger yourself or your family by waiting too long to get to safety.

Grab leashes and carriers on your way out of the house.

Never go back inside the house.

You can leave a door open and hope your dog or cat runs out, or you can wait for firefighters to arrive and tell them where to look, but for the safety of you and the rest of your family, never ever go back inside the house.

Very few of us believe a disaster such as a fire will befall us.  Or we think we will be able to figure it out in the moment.  A little forethought and preparation can make all the difference. What’s your plan?  Have you tried it to see if it works?

If you’d like to find out more information, check out the American Red Cross, ASPCA, or even Rover for some helpful tips on fire safety and pets.


Photo source: Department of Homeland Security. Click on the photo or visit for more information on disaster planning for your pets.