Pet safety for house fires and wildfires - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Pet safety for house fires and wildfires

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Multiple locations in Western Montana are under evacuation warnings, which could mean leaving at a moment's notice. While you want to make sure you're family is safe and ready to go, what about your family pets? 

According to Aspen Grove, over 40,000 pets are killed annually by fires. They suggest:

  • Create a fire escape plan.  Set up a meeting place and multiple routes in order to exit your house safely and quickly.
  • Put a Pet Rescue Fire Safety Sticker on your window.  This will indicate what species of pets you have, and how many, so that firefighters will know who to look for.  You can pick up these stickers (normally free of charge) at any humane society or veterinary office.
  • Free your home (and spaces surrounding where your outdoor pets live) of brushy areas.  This will help deplete the fire sources around your home.
  • Know your pets hiding places.  The smell of smoke and sound of burning substances are scary for pets.  Most often they will become frightened and hide in a place where they feel secure.  Knowing your pets hiding places will help you find them quickly so that everyone can exit the home.
  • Create a pet emergency kit.  This kit should supply your pet with an adequate amount of food, any prescriptions your pet needs and his/her vaccine history in case they need to be boarded.
  • Be aware when lighting candles.  Puppy tails and pouncing kittens can make a harmless candle an extreme fire hazard.  Be aware of your pets’ location when candles are lit and place them out of harms’ way.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year.

The signs of smoke inhalation can include but are not limited to:

  • Severe coughing
  • Red, inflamed eyes
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Depression
  • Bright Red, blue or pale mucous membranes
  • Singed or burnt hair
  • Respiratory distress and/or difficulty breathing
  • Gagging/vomiting
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Seizures
  • Squinting
  • Skin and/or ocular burns
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