National Pet Fire Safety Day takes place every year on July 15, and it’s a day to learn how to keep your pet safe in a fire. For many of us, pets are our most precious asset so it makes sense that we would dedicate a day to keeping them safe during one of the scariest things we can imagine. It was started by the Kennel Club and ADT Security in 2009 to help pet owners learn safety measures to protect their beloved pets and homes from fire, and it’s a great opportunity to learn how to keep your fur baby safe.
History of National Pet Fire Safety Day
While our animals are oftentimes the culprit behind devastating fires, it’s a little ironic that dogs (specifically dalmations) have become an American icon associated with firefighters today. Let’s briefly explore how that came to be. A few hundred years ago, dogs were trained to trot alongside horse-drawn wagons and protect their occupants (and horses) from harm. Dalmations quickly became the ideal carriage dog for their strength, vitality, fortitude, and size. They also had a reputation for getting along well with horses and were known to have a calming effect while firefighters were battling a blaze. Overtime as motorized fire trucks replaced carriages, Dalmatians and other fire pups were seen less aboard fire trucks and more as on-site firehouse residents and mascots.
Today, many firefighters have pet Dalmatians, and firehouses around the country still have Dalmatians as station dogs. However, Dalmatians aren’t the only dog in the firehouse. It’s become common for firefighters (and sometimes entire fire teams) to adopt dogs rescued from fires. These lucky pups, whatever their breed, become symbols of the resiliency, bravery, and fortitude of firefighters and the individuals they help. They also take important steps into education and helping firefighters demonstrate fire safety and emergency preparedness for schools and community groups across the country. Teaching that pets cause over 1,000 house fires each year in the United States and the preventive measures we can take to protect our beloved companions.