Petplan Red Alert - Three Must-Know Fire Safety Tips for Furry Friends

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In honor of Fire Prevention Week, industry experts share advice every pet parent should know

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It’s time to fire up the fur-nace! As autumn air welcomes lower temperatures, it also brings with it a higher risk of home fires.* While many families know to check their smoke detectors this time of year, fewer have an evacuation plan in place. With 79 million homes including family members of the four-legged variety, it’s im-paw-tant that plans include pets.**

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, October 5-12, Petplan, North America’s best-loved pet insurance, and Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, an animal welfare and emergency services nonprofit, are working paw-in-paw to encourage families to plan ahead. They canvassed three industry experts – a veterinarian, a frontline rescuer and a fire lieutenant – to dig into their experiences and share little-known, life-saving tips with pet parents.

Operation Evacuation – Dr. Jules Benson, Petplan chief veterinary medical officer, encourages pet parents to plan ahead, not only for how to get out of the house – but what to do next.

“Home fires are more common than we’d like to think – to the tune of more than 350,000 every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s why it’s so important for every home to have an evacuation plan, for both two- and four-legged family members. For furry friends, be sure leashes and carriers are in an easily accessible place close to an exit. If you’re in a pinch, a pillow case can double as an emergency cat carrier. Also, be sure to know where the nearest emergency vet clinic is and have the number and address handy in case your pet is injured or showing signs of distress.”

Identity Crisis – Jen Leary, Red Paw founder, spends her days, and nights, rescuing pets from fire calls in Philadelphia. The experienced pet-saver (and CNN Hero!) shares this hard-won advice for pet parents.

“Pets should always have proper ID, but this is especially important during an emergency situation. A fire scene is hectic and someone may not notice if Fido slips out the door. Be sure all pets are microchipped and wearing updated ID tags. These precautions mean pets can be easily identified, and reunited with their family, if they flee the scene. I also encourage pet parents to keep furry friends confined to a room or the first floor when they’re away from home – this helps first responders find furry friends faster.”

Information Age – Michael Miller is not only a Fire Lieutenant, he’s also the director of business development at Petplan and a pet parent. There’s one thing he wishes every pet parent had.

“Information is everything when disaster strikes. So often when responding to home fires, the family isn’t home – meaning that no one is able to let fire fighters know if there are pets in the house. I keep a pet rescue alert in my front window and encourage all pet parents to do the same. This alert will let first responders know there are pets in the house that need to be found. Sadly, about 40,000 pets die each year because of fires. *** Having a rescue alert is one extra step families can take to protect their pets.”

To help put paws on the path to safety, Petplan created the only fully customizable pet rescue alert featuring the pets name, favorite hiding place and even a picture. By having this alert on a front door or window, fire fighters will know that there are pets in the house that need to be saved. Fetch a pet rescue alert by visiting

To learn more about keeping paws safe from the perils of fire, and always, visit and

*American Red Cross
**American Veterinary Medical Association
***Center for Disease Control and Prevention


About Petplan
Petplan is more than a pet insurance company. We're dedicated to providing pet parents with the support, resources and tools they need to keep their pets not just surviving—but thriving—into their old age. Simply put, we aim to be the kind of company that will make our pets proud. For the second consecutive year, Petplan was listed among the top 50 companies on Forbes' annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan is the only pet insurance company to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America.

Petplan’s fully customizable cat and dog insurance policies provide comprehensive coverage for all hereditary and chronic conditions for the life of the pet as standard. Petplan policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group was rated A+ by A.M. Best in 2014. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

About Red Paw Emergency Relief Team
The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is an emergency services, nonprofit organization that works in conjunction with the American Red Cross, SEPA Chapter and other public and private disaster relief, social service and animal welfare organizations to provide emergency assistance including emergency transport, shelter and veterinary care to animals involved in fires and other residential disasters. Our mission is to assist displaced pets and their people 24/7, free of charge and to ensure that ALL family members are taken care of during a disaster in their home.

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Katy Rambo
Brian Communications
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