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Fire Safety for Furry Family Members


Article by Stephen Singson

Photography by Provided

The security of your loved ones should be top priority. Every year, 500,000 pets suffer from smoke inhalation and 40,000 die due to home fires, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. We try not to entertain the possibility of our pets being endangered in any way. Fires in the house are a common cause of injury and death for pets, therefore prevention is key.

According to the research of Shelly Volsche of Boise State University, these people discussed how they had opted for pets like cats and dogs rather than having children. In addition, with 90 percent of pet owners stating they consider their animals' members of the family, according to UBS, it is important to be prepared to rescue four-legged friends when disaster strikes. Protect your pet – and your human family – with these tips.


  • The program's goal is to ensure that residents together with their fur dogs of Boise are prepared to evacuate their houses in the event of a calamity. Large-scale disasters are possible every month of the year, hence evacuations have increased in frequency. Remember that rapidly shifting conditions can sometimes render official evacuation notifications useless.
  • You may sign up for Code RED alerts and get the mobile app right here. Radio, television, and verified social media accounts, such as the Boise Fire Twitter feed, may also be used to disseminate evacuation notices.

Minimize Smoke Alarm Reactions

  • Dogs may become unsettled or anxious when a smoke alarm sounds, running and hiding rather than heading toward the door. Particularly if your pet shows signs of agitation when you test the alarm, enlist assistance from professional trainers to help your canine friend learn how to properly respond. Some websites offer online tips, too.
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Use Window Cling Alerts

  • In an emergency, first responders need to be able to quickly assess the number of pets in a home. Consider attaching a non-adhesive decal to a window near your front door to let rescuers know how many animals are inside.

Account for Pets in Evacuation Plans

  • Pets should always be included in a family’s evacuation plan. Always involve your pets and stay aware of their typical hiding spots or safe places where they often nap, in case you must evacuate quickly. Be sure to practice your evacuation plan periodically. Also assign a family member to be responsible for each pet’s escape. Keep an emergency kit with food, medication, a leash and collars near the exit.

Keep Alarms Current

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms must be replaced after 10 years. In addition to testing alarms once each week, check the manufacture date on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they’re current. If they’re older than 10 years of age, it’s time to replace them.

Plan Ahead for Emergency Care

  • If the unthinkable happens, make sure your pets will be cared for. Save contact information for your veterinarian in a place where you and other family members can easily access it, such as your phone contacts list or a cloud-based shared file. Research local boarding options, and hotels that allow pets, friends, or family members who might take in your pet temporarily. Also, be sure your pet’s microchip information is current in case you become separated in an emergency.

Lastly, be better equipped to make wise decisions in an emergency if you and your family have practiced your escape plan in accordance with the Boise Department's instructions. You can dial 911 to have emergency services brought to you from any of the city's 18 fire stations spread out throughout a 130-square-mile response area.