July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day

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Boston-based animal protection organization, FOUR PAWS International, reminds pet owners of some very important pet fire safety tips.

On July 11, 5-year old “Papi” was critically burned in a Massachusetts house fire. He is now being cared for at MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center, Boston. www.mspca.org Photo/MSPCA

2014 has already been a rough year for firefighters, victims of fires and their families. Within the past week alone, Massachusetts has seen three major alarm fires tear through buildings in three separate cities/towns (Beverly, Lowell, and Lawrence) – these on the heels of the April fire on Beacon Street in Boston, that claimed the lives of two firefighters.

With this, FOUR PAWS International wants to remind pet owners of some very important fire safety tips:

1. Pet proof your home. Look around your house and notice any areas where pets might accidentally start fires (i.e. loose wires, stove knobs, tree/plant lights, candles, etc.)

2. Always remember to extinguish open flames before leaving a room, or leaving your home. Curious, pets will often explore candles, fireplaces, and cooking appliances.

3. Confine puppies and kittens to secure areas when you are away from your home, so that their young curious natures are not so inviting to potential hazards.

4. Practice escape routes with your pets. Keep collars (with updated I.D. tags) and leashes readily available in case you have to evacuate quickly.

5. Affix Pet Alert Window stickers to one window on each side of your house, on each floor. On the sticker, note how many pets are inside the home, and the types of pets. List the pet’s names so that they will not be afraid if a firefighter or rescuer calls out to them. Keep this sticker information updated – it will save firefighters time and will assist them in looking for your pets inside your home. These stickers are also good for pet identification purposes in the event of a disaster in your area.

6. Use monitored smoke detectors if at all possible, since pets left alone cannot escape a burning home.

FOUR PAWS is an international animal protection organization that works to protect animals through sustainable campaigns and projects. Its offices are in 11 countries, including its USA office in Boston, MA. Since 2005, FOUR PAWS has been working in the field of disaster relief.

For more information on FOUR PAWS International, go to http://www.four-paws.us.

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