As part of the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Safety Week, the American Kennel Club, the largest purebred dog registry in the United States, issued these tips for dog owners:
1. Include your dogs in organized evacuation plans. When rehearsing your evacuation plan, include dogs.
2. Assemble a dog disaster kit, including: food, water, vaccination records, medication, emergency contact information, toys, leash, collar, and extra ID tags.
3. The No. 1 reason dogs die in fires is that they are crated. Ensure that your evacuation plan describes how to handle crated pets.
4. Research canine organizations in the area, so that you have a place to board your dog in case of an emergency.
5. Consider installing a dog door so that your endangered dog has a chance to escape on its own.
6. Place a sticker on your window that reads, “Dog inside. In case of emergency, please rescue.”
7. When not at home, keep your dogs on the ground floor so they are easier to rescue.
8. Give a key to a trusted neighbor. Make sure he or she knows where your dog spends its time when home alone so firefighters can be told.
9. If your dog was exposed to smoke, take it to the veterinarian. Toxic fumes can kill your pet.
10. Microchip your dog so that you can be reunited even if it loses its collar and ID tags.
11. Keep working smoke detectors on every level of the house and near bedrooms, and test them biannually. Keep hallways clutter-free to make exiting easier.