Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Be the Change: Pet Fire Safety

We're joining bloggers worldwide today to focus attention on how we as individuals can be the change for animals.


As today also happens to coincide with National Pet Fire Safety Day, we chose this for our topic.
(Hint: there's a giveaway at the end of today's post!)

The last thing you want is for your beloved pet to need this! Prevention is key.
Photo: Save Our Pets

The National Fire Protection Association has published an estimate that as many as 1,000 fires are started by pets annually. The AKC and ADT security services have teamed up to create a checklist for you to consider in making your home fireproof for pets:
  • Extinguish open flames   Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home. 
  • Remove stove knobs   Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles  These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure young pets  Keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Other Things to Consider

Do you have a
pet emergency kit?

If not, take a look at this video made by fellow pet blogger Amy after she lost everything she owned in a fire. She had a pet emergency kit – and she needed it! Do you have a designated caregiver for your pet in case of emergency? If you don’t, the ASPCA has recommendations here that can help you work through the process of selecting one.

Do you have an 
evacuation plan? 

The ASPCA recommends you plan for the worst, and assume you may not be able to return home for a few weeks. Check with your local government officials to see if there are designated evac routes in your area in case of a natural disaster.

And be sure to store your emergency kits – both human and animal – close to an exit so you can grab it quickly. Ours are stored in a closet by our front door.

Do you have a pet 
alert window badge? 

The ASPCA recommends you have a pet alert window sticker or cling attached to your front window for firefighters to easily see. (We have one on our back door as well.)

Make sure you keep it updated with the number and type of pets inside the home.

You can see our badge, below:
     I've customized it to show exactly what the cats look like,
     I've called out that Faraday's the one that will hide,
     and also told them that all 3 are microchipped.

 Want one for yourself?

Because we feel so strongly that this is a critical step in pet preparedness, we're going to give away custom-made "Rescue Me" badges to THREE winners!

Just comment below and tell us how many pets you have, and that you would like to be included in the giveaway. You have until July 25 to enter.

We'll let Random.org select the winners, and they will be announced on August 1.

And please take these tips to heart - so that both you and your pets are prepared for any emergency.

The fine print:

This giveaway is open worldwide.

If you win, I will customize your badge with photos of up to three of your pets, provided you have high-resolution images you can email to me.

Images need to be:
     1200 pixels wide X 900 pixels high
     3" high X 4" wide at 300 dpi
     16.667" wide X 12.5" high at 72dpi
          (all three of these are actually the same size!)

Winners will need to be able to send their images to me electronically so that I can digitally access them to complete the custom badge.

Winners will be sent digital files they can print or take to a company like Kinko's to have laminated.


The Red Cross
National Fire Protection Association
ASPCA Disaster Preparedness


Thanks to you, A Tonk's Tail is up for the Petties' Funniest Blog Award!
Winning would mean $1,000 for the cats of Great Plains SPCA.
Their numbers are creeping up to 800 - and they are running out of supplies.


You have our heartfelt thanks!


  1. Great minds think alike...fire safety is the topic of our Blog the Change post today too :) House fires are so devastating, but the thoughts of losing our precious pets is just unimaginable.

    Your badge is absolutely *amazing*!!!! I would love to win one for Truffles!

  2. I so want one of those purrsonal signs! There are now two of us cats...and we think we can provide the photos required. Very good post

  3. We featured fire safety on Dakota's blog (I think on the last Be The Change) and it is ALWAYS important to feature again! GREAT POST!!!!

  4. Fires are so scary! We have stopped using our fireplace completely after a spark popped out onto the carpet close to our dog. (with the protection screen even!) I'd love to have a decal with Bentley on it. We have the regular one offered by the ASPCA now. Thanks for the safety tips ♥

  5. but.. how.. just three? .. I couldn't.. someone else will have to win..

  6. We would love this and Mom says she has about 30,000 pictures of Annabelle alone (this is only since December) she could send. MOL...we older kitties are quite OK with Mom focusing on the newbie because we find the camera to be old hat! But she also continues to photograph us too!

  7. I LOVE this! My human needs to improve her sign for us kitties - right now, it's a faded window cling that's barely readable. With no photos.

  8. awesum post guys....de food serviss gurls dad be a fire fighter bak in hiz yooth N theese tipz canna be expressed enuff.....way awesum badges ewe haz all sew....best fishes two everee one !! ♥♥♥♥♥

  9. What a cool idea! We never thought about making a rescue sign with actual photos.

    About the other tips... we thought we were the only family without children in the house who had knob covers on the stove. People comment on them all the time, but one of the cats who came before kicked a knob and turned on the gas one day. We learned a valuable lesson. Better to put up with a little bit of not-so-attractive in the kitchen than be sorry.

  10. What a great post. The mom worries about fire. We would love to have a custom rescue sign for the 3 of us.

  11. Pawsome post!!! We would love to be included in the giveaway. That is a great thing to have for the window.

    Have a great day, kittehz!

  12. What a brilliant idea, and a fab giveaway you guys rock!!

  13. Love this post. I need to get an emergency kit made ASAP! A house fire is one of my biggest fears. Your "Rescue Me" badge is adorable! We would love to win one!

  14. This is such an important topic. We're glad you posted about it. When we had a blackout recently, Mommy and Daddy used their torchlight instead of candles because they didn't want to risk a kitty on fire (or house).

    1. Oh sorry, we meant to say we won't be entering the giveaway since there are 7 of us and Dino, our tortoise sister. Mommy will try to make one to accommodate all the us. :)

  15. Such an important topic. Thank you for posting. We have the two of us and would like to be entered in the giveaway.


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