Of course the number one priority if you detect a fire at your home is to usher your family outside to a safe place. It’s debatable and depends on the situation if family photos or a laptop, for example, should be grabbed on the way out.
But what about your pets? They too are of high importance and will be escorted out with the family unless it’s virtually impossible to do so and lives are in imminent danger. But even danger hasn’t stopped family members and firefighters in some cases. We’ve all heard amazing stories of pet rescues. And pet owners will agree that they take precedence over material items.
What if a fire occurred when no one was home—when no one was able to walk out a pet or inform a firefighter that pets were inside?
Just like we have “tot finders” that indicate there are children in the house, there are stickers that alert firefighters that pets are inside the house as well.
As an aside: Tot finders aren’t always in favor nowadays due to possible abduction issues. (*Please talk to your local fire jurisdiction and get its advice on how and if to use tot finders.)
In researching for this blog post, I came across online forums where some firefighters expressed that they don’t favor tot finders. If children grow up and move out, the stickers tend to stay in the window. Also, they may give people a false sense of security. And of course there’s the aforementioned and all-important abduction concerns. These were all cited as reasons.
Getting back to pet finder stickers: If no one is home, pet finder stickers may be the only way that rescue personnel will know pets are inside—short of a neighbor informing them, for instance. Please be sure to ask your local fire jurisdiction about how to obtain these if you don’t have them already.
Not every fire department recommends or distributes pet finder stickers. And some posts in the forums mentioned above were of the opinion, of course, that humans come first. If a pet is found in the process, it will be saved, but that not much faith is put in pet finder stickers.
And for the same reason that some may not favor tot finders (a child may not be in the house anymore, yet the sticker remains), they may not pay close attention to pet finder stickers because pets may not be in the house any longer either.
Moving onto another danger in the household…
Another issue with pets, including small pets such as reptiles, hamsters and birds, is elevated carbon monoxide levels. Carbon monoxide detection is an important part of overall environmental monitoring—in which smoke and heat detection are included also.
These types of pets are very sensitive to small spikes in carbon monoxide, as well as other pets such as cats and dogs. Of course, any spike in carbon monoxide is dangerous to everyone in the household, regardless of its level. This odorless, tasteless and invisible gas does not discriminate.
Again, if a leak occurs during the day when no one is home, the fire department and those on your call list need to be alerted by your security system so these pets have a chance.
The moral to the story of this blog post is to check with your local fire department. Ask about their policy on pet finder stickers—if they have them and/or offer them for sale, if so, where they advise you to place them, and what their advice is if they do not recommend them.
While you’re talking to them, ask them about tot finders and where they should be affixed (assuming they recommend them at all).