Tips for Pet Fire Safety Month, from Kidde

After 16 months of nearly constant companionship, many pet parents are preparing to leave their pets at home while they transition back to the workplace.

In support of Kidde’s annual Pet Fire Safety Month in July, Kidde and celebrity pet trainer Sara Carson (as seen on America’s Got Talent) are providing DIY tips to help pet owners train their four-legged family to respond positively to the sound of smoke alarms.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 500,000 pets suffer from smoke inhalation and 40,000 pets die in home fires each year.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are started by family pets.

According to a new survey commissioned by Kidde and conducted online by The Harris Poll among 1,367 pet owners (i.e., own at least one dog or cat), a vast majority of pet owners (91%) say they will leave their pet home alone more often as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Of those, more than one in three (35%) say they are nervous about doing so.

As many pet parents know firsthand, pets may become unsettled or anxious once a smoke alarm sounds, hiding rather than exiting.

Pets who are already prone to anxiety when a smoke alarm sounds may become even more so when their owners are not at home. Kidde and Sara Carson are sharing some easy steps to train your pet to respond positively to the sound of a smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm.

“As many of us at Kidde are pet parents ourselves, we know that people will do anything to keep their furry family safe,” said Sharon Cooksey, Fire Safety Educator for Kidde. “At Kidde, we’re committed to ensuring that pet owners are equipped with the right products, resources, tools and confidence to prepare their entire family members – both two- and four-legged – in the event of an emergency as we all transition to more time out of the home.”

Sara Carson recommends two options for training pets: locate the owner in case of an emergency or go to the identified exit. Steps include:

Familiarize your pet with the sound of the alarm.

Pair the sound with a command.

Identify and name the exit, i.e., ‘outside.’

Reward for positive response.

The complete list of tips and a full-length training video with detailed steps from Sara Carson is available to view at www.kidde.com/petsafety.

“As a proud dog mom of my Super Collies, I know that pets are like our family, so it’s important that we take proactive steps to keep them safe in the event of a home fire,” said Carson. “To successfully train your pets, make sure you keep training fun, short and always end on a good note.”

You can also protect your pets from the dangers of home fire in a number of different ways, including:

Window Clings: 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.

Fire Escape: Pets should always be included in a family’s evacuation plan. Stay aware of their typical hiding spots or locations where they often nap in case you must evacuate quickly. When you are not home, keep pets in areas near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.

Smoke Alarm Maintenance: Smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years. In addition to testing alarms once each week, check the manufacturing date on your smoke alarms to make sure they are under 10 years of age. If they are older than that, it is time to replace them.

For more pet fire safety tips, visit www.kidde.com/petsafety. To learn more about Sara Carson and other resources around pet training, visit www.thesupercollies.com/about.

Kidde is a manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, and safety accessories.

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