Garanimals Blog

July 27th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Pets, Fire and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Two weeks ago, July 15, was National Pet Fire Safety Day. In an earlier post on Pet First Aid, I talked about posting a pet fire emergency sign so first responders know to look for your animals. Many fire departments offer signs or window clings free of charge. Since about a half a million pets are affected by fire every year, here are a few more ways to keep your animals safe.

Create a family disaster plan and be sure to include your pets. Think ahead about where you might take your pet if your family had to leave home in an emergency.

Pets Start More than 1,000 Fires a Year

Never leave your pet unattended around an open flame. Long tails and curious paws can easily knock over a candle. Apparently, the number one place that pets start or spread fire is from the cooktop. If you leave your pet uncrated during the day, you might want to remove or cover the stove knobs.

Keep collars with name tags and phone numbers on your pets at all times, in case they escape during an emergency.

The American Red Cross recommends that you keep young pets, especially puppies, crated while you’re away from home and to keep the crates near an entryway, so firefighters can easily find and move the animals to safety.

Perhaps the best way to protect your entire family is to install and maintain smoke detectors. The US Fire Administration recommends that you:

  • replace your smoke detectors every 8-10 years
  • replace the batteries once or twice a year (a good time to do this is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time)
  • test hardwired smoke detectors once a month

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Like the canary in the coal mine, our pets are often affected by the presences of carbon monoxide long before we are. Here are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in animals:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • cough
  • loss of stamina
  • uneven gait

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately. And install carbon monoxide detectors or combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors today to protect your entire family.

Susan Bearman also writes at Two Kinds of PeopleMike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds and The Animal Store Blogas well as being a regular contributor to The Chicago Moms and Technorati.


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