In a little more than 24 hours last Friday and Saturday, the Yakima Fire Department (YFD) responded to two fires in which, combined, four pets perished.
“The injury and loss for victims of a residential fire can be traumatic, made even more so by the passing of a beloved pet,” said Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham. “Our top priority when responding to a fire is the safety of the public and fire crews. When that safety is ensured, we will make every effort to rescue pets.”
YFD and the American Red Cross offer the following suggestions:
- Ensure pets have their own disaster supplies kit and arrange in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
- When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.
- In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: NEVER delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.
- Keep pets near entrances when you are away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Visit https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/pet-fire-safety.html for more on pet fire safety.
“We at YFD encourage the community to be fire safe in their homes and to include their pets in their safety plans,” said Markham.
Visit https://yakimafire.com/ for more about the Yakima Fire Department.