Every year thousands of pets are hurt or killed during fires. It’s not fun to think about, but fire is a part of life in Central Oregon. We know you care about your family and pets, so follow these simple steps to prevent and prepare for fire related emergencies.

How to keep your pets from starting a fire

  1. Never leave pets alone near an open flame. That includes candles, grills, campfires and non-enclosed fireplaces. One swipe of the tail or paw could mean disaster. Extinguish all fires (including candles) when you leave a room or your home. You might even try using flameless candles.
  2. Can your pets reach the stove top controls? If so, remove the knobs or protect them with stove top covers. They are a must-have for any home with small children or curious pets.
  3. Scan your home for hazards like electrical wires. What are simply wires to you look like chew toys to your cats and dogs.  Minimize the length of your cords by rolling and/or securing them behind furniture.
  4. Never keep glass food or water bowls in direct sunlight. They can work like a magnifying glass and start a fire. Use stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

How to prepare your pets in case of a fire

  1. Get indoor toys. As you know, the smoke during a forest fire can make it unsafe to go walk your dog outdoors, but your dog still needs exercise. Invest in puzzle toys, such as a Kong or indoor Chuckit! Ball, so he still gets  mental and physical stimulation even when you can’t play outside.
  2. Make sure your pets are chipped, wearing tags, and that both are up-to-date.
  3. Check your fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers every six months.
  4. Remember, if there’s a forest fire wild animals might be forced into residential neighborhoods. In that case, be sure to keep your pets indoors, or always attended and on leash. Not only will that keep them safe from predators, but it will prevent them from chasing wild animals.
  5. Have an evacuation plan, a place to go and a pet disaster kit. Your pet disaster kit should include:
    • Food and water for at least five days
    • Waste bags, cat litter, and accessories
    • Leashes and harnesses
    • Crates
    • Medication and medical records
    • A current photo of your pets
    • Detailed information on your pets behavioral issues, medical and dietary needs
  6. Put a Rescue Alert sticker on your window so emergency responders know if they should be aware of any pets in the home.
  7. Share this information with your family and friends.