Pets and Home Fires

Animals In Disaster Digest

The Most Common (un)Natural Disaster

Toni McNulty – Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Here at Animals in Disaster we sift through dozens of media articles each day in order to bring you the latest information to help you and your pets before, during and after a disaster. With all the natural disasters that have occurred in recent months, there certainly has been plenty of news. But there is one type of disaster news that pops up in our searches every day, deeply affects people and their pets, their families, neighborhoods and communities, yet seldom commands national headlines.

By Kpahor via Wikimedia CommonsFires are the most common disaster in the United States. In 2009, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 362,500 home structure fires. A home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds. The American Red Cross responded to a home fire about every eight minutes.

When it comes to pets affected by home fires, it seems that neither the NFPA nor anyone else keeps statistics. However, reliable industry websites generally agree that at least 40,000 pets die each year from smoke inhalation in home fires. Sometimes the owners are not present when the fire starts. Sometimes people must leave pets behind in their rush to save themselves and their children. Firefighters make a heroic effort to rescue pets whenever they can, but a) unless you have a sticker on your door or window, they may not know you have pets inside, and b) many fire departments do not have pet oxygen masks to help pets recover from smoke inhalation after they are rescued.

Most home fires are preventable. We hope you will take the easy steps to protect your family, including your pets, from a home fire. We don’t want to lose any of you! Once your home and family are prepared, we also encourage you to join with others in your community to find ways to equip your local firefighters with pet oxygen masks. These could mean the difference between life and death for your pet.

Original Article:  http://www.humanityroad.org/_blog/Animals_In_Disaster_Digest/tag/Fire/

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