Not only should you have a plan for you and your family in case of a fire, but making a plan for your pet(s) might increase their chance of survival as well! Plan Your Escape Don’t have a home fire escape plan? The first thing you need to do is create one. Creating a home fire escape plan does not have to be complicated. You can start by identifying two exits out of every room in your house, such as a window or a door. Then, establish a family meeting place once everyone has made it out safely. If A Fire Breaks Out While You Are Home Your family could have only minutes to evacuate. The best way to protect your pets is to bring them with you. Pets are likely to panic at the sight of fire or the smell of smoke and run to their favorite hiding spot. If you do not know your pet’s favorite hiding spot, try to locate it now, as knowing this detail could literally mean life or death for your pets. If A Fire Breaks Out While You Are Not Home Pre-planning will be the key to ensuring your pet’s safe escape from a home fire when you and your family are not at home. When leaving your pets at home, secure them in rooms near entrances by using a dog crate or safety gates. This is a much easier task for dog owners than cat owners. However, closing off a section of the house to contain your cats will enable firefighters to locate them more easily during emergencies. Pet alert window decals are another useful option to save your pet’s life. These decals are free and have saved many pet lives. Keep your pets safe with a free Pet Safety Pack from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Click the link to access the form: https://www.aspca.org/form/free-pet-safety-pack There are an estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires every year. Now with these pet fire safety tips, you have a stronger chance at saving your pet from a home fire. How to Avoid Running Away Dogs & Cats As mentioned, Dogs and cats tend to panic during a fire. Securing dogs on leashes and keeping cats in pet carriers will prevent them from running away once they make it outside. Tip: Keep leashes and carriers in an easy-to-access spot near emergency exit points so that you can grab them on your way out. Birds or Other Caged Animals For pets without the ability to escape on their own, decide who will be in charge of grabbing them and taking them to your family’s outdoor meeting spot, if it is safe to do so. If you are unable to grab your pet before evacuating, leave an outside door open and loudly call out your pet’s name. Keep doing so until your pet makes his or her way out to you.