KANSAS CITY - It's a tragic story. Your home engulfed in flames, you rush to get your family to safety. But what about your pets?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 500,000 pets are affected by home fires each year. What's worse is nearly 1,000 of those home fires are accidentally started by your pet.
In honor of Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15, the Humane Society of Missouri offers the following tips:
Remove all potential hazards from a pet's reach.
Potential hazards depend on the type of pet and how active they are. For example, if a cat likes to leap on the kitchen counters, remove or cover knobs from the stove/cooktop that can easily be turned on.
Do a walkthrough of the home looking for potential dangers.
Things like loose wires and piles of paper, which could easily light on fire, need to be fixed. Some curious cats, dogs and even rabbits will chew on electrical wires.
Never leave pets unattended if you have a fire in the fireplace, or even a candle lit. Any time you have an open flame, make sure to keep your pet away.
As always, have monitored smoke alarms on every level of the home.
Just like you do a fire drill to get everyone out of your home safely, you can do the same with your pets.
Here are tips on how you can prepare pets for a smooth escape.
If leaving pets home alone, keep them near entrances where they can be easily found.
Be sure pets are identified with collars and ID tags at all times.
Prepare a pet emergency kit. This can include pet medications, medical records, and a current photo of each pet so others can help identify them.