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The sad news first: 40,000 pets die every year in home fires.

To help reduce that number, the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have declared July 15 National Pet Fire Safety Day.” This nationwide awareness day educates pet owners about potential risks when pets are left home alone and provides them with proven prevention measures to ensure their safety.

Here are some tips to help prevent fires and increase the odds of firefighters rescuing your dog should your home catch on fire.

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Keep pets near entrances when 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, especially when visibility is low (in the case of smoke).

Secure young pets. Especially with young puppies, 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.

Make sure alarms are working. Also consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so that emergency responders can be contacted if you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.

Affix a pet alert window cling. Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window (available at most pet stores and at AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days events). This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

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