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Celebrate National Pet Fire Safety Day by planning for your furry family member with tips from Sumter Fire Department

BY KAYLA GREEN
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 7/15/20

We say they're part of the family, so safety officials say we need to protect them in a way that proves the sentiment.

Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day. From fur babies to felines to rodents, birds, arachnids and anything in between, the …

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Celebrate National Pet Fire Safety Day by planning for your furry family member with tips from Sumter Fire Department

Posted

We say they're part of the family, so safety officials say we need to protect them in a way that proves the sentiment.

Today is National Pet Fire Safety Day. From fur babies to felines to rodents, birds, arachnids and anything in between, the Sumter Fire Department is marking the day by offering tips to keep your pet safe, hydrated and part of a fire escape plan.

"As hot as it is this time of the year, we have to watch out for the heat. My dog likes to stay outside. He'll run around. When he gets tired, he'll go inside and hit the water bowl. Don't keep them outside out in the heat for too long. They need water," said Capt. Terrence Dupree, a part of the fire prevention and education department at the fire department.

Dupree's family dog is a "mix of something." They've had him for four years, and Loki looks like a miniature German shepherd. They blame "some of his badness" on his name, a credit to his daughter's Avengers fandom.

Dupree and Lt. Selena Ruth Smith, also in fire prevention, offered the following tips for keeping pets safe in the heat, during fireworks and in the case of a fire.

Escaping a fire

Much of Smith and Dupree's educational outreach involves teaching children and families how to develop and practice an escape route in the case of a house fire. One main takeaway: Keep your pets in mind.

  •  Animals don't like extreme heat. If there's a fire, they're going to try to find a way out. Help train them to acknowledge a window or a doggie door.
  •  When you're planning your escape plan, include your pets. Keep them in mind as if they're your children or your most valuable possession to make sure you carry or lead them outside.
  •  When practicing your route, practice with your pet, whether that means carrying it out a window or putting it in a crate that you carry out (always have at least two ways out).
  •  Just like it's safer to keep your bedroom doors closed to prevent faster spread of fire, think about keeping your pet in a confined space. Many families keep their pets in their bedroom for comfort. It could be fire safe, too, but each decision is a personal one for each family.
  •  The Sumter Fire Department is trained in pet CPR. If you have a pet suffering from smoke inhalation, tell the first responders.
  •  If you've escaped without your pet, don't go back inside. Often, they can naturally find their way out faster than you risking your life to re-enter a burning structure.

Outdoor heat

  •  Cement and asphalt are hot. Keep ground surface temperatures in mind when walking your pet.
  •  Make sure outdoor animals have ample shade and water available.

Indoor heat

  •  Most animals have tails. Just like kids, they can knock over candles or other heat sources. Keep them away from candles, the stove or other heat sources.
  •  Keep animals, just like children, at least 3 feet away from the heat, candles, the stove, a radiator, etc.
  •  Don't use glass dishes that will be in the sun, especially on wooden decks.

Pets in cars

  •  Don't keep pets in cars. If it's 85 degrees outside, it can heat up to 102 degrees inside a car within 10 minutes, even with the windows cracked.
  •  The shorter the snout, the quicker they get overheated.
  •  If you do keep a pet in a car, make sure it's running with the air conditioner on. It's safer to take the pet with you or leave it home.

Fireworks

  •  Animals don't like fireworks. Keep them inside when they're going off.
  •  Talk to neighbors before shooting fireworks and ask them to inform you before they shoot fireworks.
  •  Keep a pet in a separate room with noise to block the sound if possible.

If they get lost

  •  Make sure your pet has a collar, tag or chip so it can be returned to you if lost or it runs away.