National Pet Fire Safety Day takes place every year on July 15, and it’s a day to learn how to keep your pet safe in a fire. For many of us, pets are our most precious asset so it makes sense that we would dedicate a day to keeping them safe during one of the scariest things we can imagine. It was started by the Kennel Club and ADT Security in 2009 to help pet owners learn safety measures to protect their beloved pets and homes from fire, and it’s a great opportunity to learn how to keep your fur baby safe.
History of National Pet Fire Safety Day
While our animals are oftentimes the culprit behind devastating fires, it’s a little ironic that dogs (specifically dalmations) have become an American icon associated with firefighters today. Let’s briefly explore how that came to be. A few hundred years ago, dogs were trained to trot alongside horse-drawn wagons and protect their occupants (and horses) from harm. Dalmations quickly became the ideal carriage dog for their strength, vitality, fortitude, and size. They also had a reputation for getting along well with horses and were known to have a calming effect while firefighters were battling a blaze. Overtime as motorized fire trucks replaced carriages, Dalmatians and other fire pups were seen less aboard fire trucks and more as on-site firehouse residents and mascots.
Today, many firefighters have pet Dalmatians, and firehouses around the country still have Dalmatians as station dogs. However, Dalmatians aren’t the only dog in the firehouse. It’s become common for firefighters (and sometimes entire fire teams) to adopt dogs rescued from fires. These lucky pups, whatever their breed, become symbols of the resiliency, bravery, and fortitude of firefighters and the individuals they help. They also take important steps into education and helping firefighters demonstrate fire safety and emergency preparedness for schools and community groups across the country. Teaching that pets cause over 1,000 house fires each year in the United States and the preventive measures we can take to protect our beloved companions.
National Pet Fire Safety Day timeline
The Awareness Begins
The Kennel Club and ADT Security decided it was time to get serious about pet fire protection.
Emotional Support Animals Protected
The Fair Housing Amendments Act allows people to keep their ESAs, despite landlords.
- 6,000 B.C.
Sacred Dog Burials
Special dog graves include expensive items. Proof of their deep meaning to humans
- 13,000 B.C.
People Make Pets
Evidence suggests people bred dogs in Europe and Asia around this time.
National Pet Fire Safety Day FAQs
How do pets start fires?
The NFPA says a stove or cooktop is the number-one cause of fires started by pets. Electrical cords can sometimes be seen by your dog as a chew toy. When damaged, they can spark and cause electrocution or a fire. Secure any cords and hide them behind furniture or other obstructions.
How do I get my pet out of a fire?
Keep a collar on your dog, and leashes and cat carriers in an easy-to-access spot near an exit point so you can grab them on your way out.
Where do you put the pet alert sticker?
Put one on each side of your house or one in every apartment window. Consider a second pack if you need more than 4 alert stickers.
How to Observe National Pet Fire Safety Day
Get this useful decoration
On July 15, get a free Pet Fire Safety Window Cling at your local volunteer firehouse. First responders will see this and know to look out for any pets inside.
Share it to save lives
Use #PetFireSafetyDay to post on social media and raise awareness to friends and family about the day and ways that they can keep their pets safe from fires.
Have a fire drill
For families with kids, this tradition is even more important. Discuss your family evacuation plan, designate someone to carry out the pets and execute a fire drill on this day every year.
5 FACTS ABOUT PET FIRE SAFETY
Pets cause over 1,000 house fires each year in the United States
A Big Problem
Nearly 360,000 house fires occur each year in the United States.
Save a Life
Over 40,000 pets die every year in house fires. Awareness can save lives.
Furry (and Slithering) Heroes
There are thousands of stories about pets, even snakes, saving humans from house fires.
Have a Plan
The #1 tip is to have an escape plan that includes your pets.
Why National Pet Fire Safety Day is Important
Keep your pets out of trouble
There are many ways to keep your pet from causing a fire. Blow out candles before leaving home, block off access to the kitchen or remove stove knobs if pets can reach it, and keep any and all wires out of chewing distance, especially from kittens and puppies!
Have a pet rescue plan in place
Discuss with your family who will be in charge of rescuing your pet in the event of a fire. Planning and practicing fire drills will help the family remain calm and help ensure that your pets are not forgotten during a chaotic evacuation.
Make rescuers aware of your pets and their hiding places
As part of your evacuation plan, include a list of your pet’s hiding places, so that firefighters will know where to look in case your pets don’t make it out with you. Also, make sure your pets have collars with up to date tags attached in case they escape on their own.
National Pet Fire Safety Day dates