Oct 062015

1Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The tragic event began on October 8, continued into October 9, 1871, and killed more than 250 people.


During National Fire Prevention Week, attention is focused on promoting fire safety and prevention; however we should practice fire safety all year long. Many potential fire hazards go undetected because people simply do not take steps to fireproof their home.

In the event of a fire, your pets need protection as much as the rest of the family. Here are some tips to help you prevent fires and know what to do if a fire should break out in your home.

2Be sure you have working smoke detectors on every level of the home.

Place detectors near bedrooms and in the kitchen, either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall, well away from air vents. Mark your calendar to remind yourself to check the batteries regularly. A good time to do this is when we move the clocks for daylight savings time.

Have an emergency exit plan that includes your pets, and practice the plan 3regularly.

Once a fire starts, it can spread rapidly, so everyone should know what to do to escape.

Affix window decals around your home so rescue workers know there are pets inside. Fire experts report that many dogs perish in fire because they are confined in a crate or room and cannot escape. Be sure your fire plan accounts for crated dogs. Keep leashes in an easy to find place so your dogs can be leashed and prevent him from escaping.

Make sure pets always wear identification.

Research a safe place to take your pets.

Ask friends and family if they can shelter you and our pets. Check with local pet-boarding facilities.

Assemble a disaster kit.

This should include your dog’s food, medications, copies of his health records, and your veterinarians’ phone number, a recent photo of you with your dog, hid favorite toy or bedding and an extra leash and collar with his ID.

Give a key to a trusted neighbor.

4Ask your local fire department if they carry pet oxygen masks on their fire trucks.

Listen to your dog!

Canines have a keen sense of smell and can detect smoke long before humans. If your dog is acting strangely, look into the situation promptly and be prepared to gather your family and follow your evacuation plan. If your dog was in a smoke-filled building or you can smell smoke on his fur, take him to your veterinarian. Toxic fumes can be deadly.

Prevent fires from happening

Don’t leave lighted candles burning unattended. A lit candle can be knocked over by a swinging tail and can burn your pet or cause a fire.

5Learn about Red Paw

The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is an emergency services, nonprofit organization that works in conjunction with the American Red Cross, to provide emergency transport, shelter, and veterinary care to animals involved in residential fires.




Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery county and northern Chester County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.


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