FirefighterwithdogFor all of us who adore our pets, the prospect of our homes catching fire while we’re away is truly horrifying. Many of us rely on the window/door stickers that say something along the lines of “Firefighter—Save my pets!” to alert firefighters to the presence of pets in the house. But do those really work? Recently, I spoke with a Los Angeles firefighter about these stickers, and what I learned is very important: although it never hurts to have those stickers, many times the location of the fire will force firefighters to enter through a side window, where stickers might not be present or visible. Smoke from fires can quickly render stickers black and unreadable, too. Actually, there are a million reasons why those stickers might go unnoticed in the urgency of the moment. So, what is the best indicator that there are pets inside a burning building?

The answer is: NEIGHBORS. Firefighters say that in many cases of successful pet rescue, a neighbor has quickly alerted them that there are pets inside the home. The same goes for children, too! So, please, make sure you and your neighbors know each other’s pets, just in case. Why not put together a directory of neighbors’ names, addresses, number/type of pets, and number of family members living in each home and distribute it to everyone on your street? Your pets will thank you, and so will the firefighters whose jobs it is to save lives.  Plus, what a great way to meet and spark a friendship (pardon the pun) with your neighbors!