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Hobo’s holiday fire safety tips

Fire safety tips are probably not on your mind as you ready yourself for the Christmas holiday. I found it hard to escape the tragic news of the Little Ponderosa Zoo fire in Clinton, Tennessee this month. According to the United States Fire Administration, about 500,000 animals are affected by fires annually.

Hobo’s holiday fire safety tips will highlight steps you can take to protect your home while protecting four-legged family members. It is true many fires are preventable, but accidents do happen and are particularly heart wrenching when life is lost.

Home fires are the most common disaster the American Red Cross responds to. One of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day top the list of the most home fires in the United States. Candles are responsible for two out of five home fires causing structural damage. I realize statistics are boring and do nothing to jump start your holiday extravaganza but, a few safety tips might keep your holiday from going up in flames.

Hobo’s holiday fire safety tips:

· Candles and open flames. Fido and Fluffy are curious and will investigate fire wherever it is. Extinguish all open flames before leaving home or when unattended. Never leave your pet unattended around any open flames.

· Flameless candles. Fluffy is the notorious for knocking over candles which start home fires. Battery operated candles are safer around pets and reduce the risk of fire.

· Keep Fido and Fluffy secure. Consider having a special place for Fido and Fluffy in their own space during parties and times when they are not being watched closely.

· Pet alert window cling. Affix to a front window or door to alert first responders to the number of pets in the home. This is critical information needed by rescuers and known to save lives.

Keep live Christmas trees away from heat sources and keep hydrated. Be mindful of water in Christmas tree stands especially if you use additives — these can be toxic to your pets. Decorations may entice our four-legged family members to a game of fetch and what starts out as cute ends up with someone getting hurt. Have emergency plans for your pets in place including evacuation. Store telephone numbers for emergency veterinarian services in your phone.

The holidays are stressful without adding disaster planning to your list but, it might save your pet’s life and save you a lot of heartache. Hobo the Wonder Dog and I wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with love and happiness.

Merry Christmas!

Holidays are better with a dog — woof!

Hobo the Wonder Dog, Your guide to travel, health and fun. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact us at: howard@howardsbaker.com.