July 15 Declared "National Pet Fire Safety Day " to Help Protect Pets from Home Fires
AKC and ADT Offer Prevention & Rescue Tips
To help reduce the estimated 500,000 pets affected by home fires each year, The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services today launched the inaugural "National Pet Fire Safety Day." This nationwide awareness day educates pet owners about potential risks when pets are left home alone and provides them with proven prevention measures to ensure their safety.
According to a recent AKC study, 88 percent of pet owners consider their pets to be valued family members so it makes sense to include them in fire prevention plans and rescue alerts should a house fire strike. As part of National Pet Fire Safety Day, AKC and ADT have developed helpful prevention, escape and rescue tips for pet owners.
"One of the hallmarks of responsible dog ownership is keeping pets safe and planning for unexpected emergencies, including house fires," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "Pet proofing the home, developing pet-friendly escape routes and alerting rescuers of your pets presence with "window clings" is the best way to keep your four-legged family member from harm."
That's something Lia Wentworth of Maryland knows well. One Sunday morning she and her family left their Labrador Retriever "Justice" home alone. They didn't realize they left a pot of boiling water with plastic baby bottles on the stove. When the water evaporated, the bottles began to emit a toxic smoke. No one knew Justice was in trouble because there was no flame. Luckily, the Wentworth's had a monitored smoke detector and the firefighters were alerted. Their prompt response saved Justice's life.
"After ADT alerted us that the fire alarm had been activated, we rushed home. We had one thought the whole way there, and that was the fate of our beloved pet. The minutes passed like hours trying to get home to him," Wentworth said. "I can't describe the relief and gratitude I felt in seeing Justice playing with the firefighters in front of our home. Along with smoke alarms, I encourage everyone to have a home fire monitoring system. Ours was there when we couldn't be, and called for help because Justice couldn't. Without that system, there would literally be no Justice in this world."
"National Pet Fire Safety Day" Tips to Keep Pets Safe from House Fires:
- Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
- Pet Proof the Home - Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as the stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards.
- Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.
- Keep Pets Near Entrances - When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Practicing Escape Routes with Pets - Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.
- Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling - Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. You can obtain a free window cling by going to http://www.adt.com/pets or at AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days events. Details are available at http://www.akc.org/.
- Keep Your Information Updated - Firefighters are familiar with pet alert window clings so keep the number of pets listed on them updated. Knowing the accurate number of pets in the house aids rescuers in finding all of your pets.
- Use Monitored Smoke Detection Services - As an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms, smoke detectors connected to a monitoring center help save pets who can't escape when left home alone.
"Each September as part of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days, we educate first-time dog owners about what dog ownership entails. This year we are pleased to distribute ADT pet alert "window clings" at our flagship event in Raleigh, North Carolina and at the more than 600 local events nationwide to focus attention on how to potentially save pets' lives," Peterson added. For more information visit www.akc.org/clubs/rdod.
ADT will be part of the Meet the BreedsTM event at the Javits Center in New York, Oct. 17-18. For more information visit http://www.meetthebreeds.com/.
The American Kennel Club
The American Kennel Club (AKC), proudly celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2009. Since 1884 the not-for-profit organization has maintained the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and today its rules govern more than 20,000 canine competitions each year. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org/. AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.
About ADT Security Services
ADT Security Services is a unit of Tyco International and part of ADT Worldwide, the world's largest electronic security services provider. In North America, ADT provides electronic security services to nearly five million commercial, government and residential customers. ADT's total security solutions include intrusion, fire protection, video systems, access control, critical condition monitoring, home health services, electronic article surveillance, radio frequency identification (RFID) and integrated systems. ADT's government and commercial customers include a majority of the nation's Fortune 500 companies, all U.S. federal courthouses and over 70 mid to large airports. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, ADT has more than 24,000 employees at approximately 240 locations in the U.S. and Canada. More ADT information is at www.adt.com