For many of us, losing our pet to a home fire would be like losing a member of the family. You can increase your pet’s chance of survival by including them in your family’s home fire escape plan. Let’s take a look at some tips to save your pets from a home fire. 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. But 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, be sure to locate it now. It could literally mean life or death to your pets. How to Avoid Bolting Dogs & Cats Dogs and cats will likely panic during a home 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. 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 easier in emergencies. Check out these safety gates! 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)! 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. About Woodard Cleaning & Restoration Woodard Cleaning & Restoration Services was founded in 1946 as St. Louis’ first in-home rug and carpet cleaning company, and is now the area’s largest commercial and residential cleaning company for carpet, rugs, furniture, and hard surfaces. With more than 68 years of experience, Woodard is proud to serve as a preferred provider of water, fire, and smoke restoration services for residential, commercial, and institutional facilities. For more information, visit our website, or call 800.466.9308.