SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As a committed advocate of fire safety and prevention, Kidde understands that protecting your family also means protecting your pets.
Every year, 500,000 pets suffer from smoke inhalation and 40,000 lose their lives in home fires.
Sharon Cooksey, Kidde Safety Educator, shared about pet safety on Midday Live.
The inspiration for pet fire safety was Xander. Like a lot of people during this unprecedented time, Cooksey rescued and adopted a puppy. Pet fostering has increased 48% in the wake of COVID-19.
Xander chewed almost everything in her house, like wires, which pose a potential hazard.
"The biggest thing for pet safety is pre-planning. Come up with a plan that's going to be dedicated to your specific pet and your specific family or living space or work space," suggests Lt. Jonathan Baxter, San Francisco Fire Department.
Lt. Charleton Lightfoot with City of Oakland Fire Department reiterates the same message, "By making a plan ahead of time, it means that you won't be caught off guard, it means that you'll have the resources that you need, and hopefully we have the most favorable outcome."
One of the most common concerns is the fear pets have of the smoke alarms or carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Cooksey encourages "people to practice hitting the test button on their alarms and then moving to the door.
As a reminder, families should replace their smoke and CO alarms every 10 years.
The "pets inside" or "rescue my pets" window clings are also key to saving pets left behind in a fire or an emergency. Placing them near the entrances to your home lets first responders know there may be pets inside.
Kidde is proud of the partnership with our local fire departments like San Francisco and Oakland. They are part of Kidde's Operation Save A Life program, along with ABC7. For last year's event at Treasure Island: 2019 Operation Save A Life
Kidde donates thousands of smoke and CO alarms, and fire extinguishers annually.
On Friday, Cooksey announced that Kidde is donating pet oxygen masks to San Francisco and Oakland Fire Departments to help them rescue our four-legged friends and keep them safe and healthy.
$13.7M in property damage happens from pet-related fires.
Here are some tips for pet owners to keep their pets safe, particularly while you're not at home:
- If you crate your animals, consider keeping them near an entrance which helps first responders to retrieve & rescue as quickly as possible.
- Placing them in a gated area to confine your pets to a specific location.
- Keep anything off the stovetop which might be flammable.
- Consider removing the stove knobs when you leave which prevents a pet from accidentally turning on the range.
- Unplug anything that has a cord that your pet might be able to reach.
For more information on pet safety and other useful tips on fire prevention, visit kidde.com.
The Midday Live segment was sponsored by Kidde.