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Boone Fire Department Now Equipped With Donated Pet Oxygen Masks


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Assistant Chief Mike Teague, Captain Aaron Wilson, Captain Amy Flieg, Gage, Battalion Chief Kent Brown, and Engineer Daniel Ingwersen

The Boone Fire Department is now better equipped to save a pet’s life in the event of smoke inhalation during a fire thanks to a donation of Pet Oxygen Masks from the Invisible Fence Brand. This donation is part of Invisible Fence Brand’s Project Breathe, which was established with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks.

These masks allow firefighters to give oxygen to pets when they are suffering from smoke inhalation after they are rescued from a fire. These masks often save a pet’s life. This donation from the Invisible Fence Brand has allowed the Boone Fire Department to have a set of pet oxygen masks on every engine.

In 2008 Invisible Fence Brand started donating pet oxygen masks in the Carolinas. Since then they have donated more than 1530 masks to more than 510 fire stations in the Carolinas and over 10,000 nationwide.

There are no official US Fire Administration statistics on pet injuries and deaths due to fires. However it is estimated that between 40,000 and 150,000 pets die each year in fires, most succumbing to smoke inhalation. The donation of these specially designed and potentially lifesaving pet oxygen masks will enable the Boone Fire Department to efficiently administer oxygen to someone’s beloved pet.

An unfortunate reality is that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners pet, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The Boone Fire Department recommends the following safety tips to help prevent your pet from starting fires:

  • Extinguish all open flames – do not leave cooking appliances unattended when in use or candles. Make sure to extinguish any open flames before leaving a home. Also keep your pet away from heating devices like a space heater or the fireplace.
  • Remove stove knobs – according to the NFPA a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire. You can remove stove knobs or protect them with covers.
  • Invest in flameless candles – dog and cat tails are notorious for knocking things over, including candles.
  • Watch the chewing – some pets are chewers, make sure that your pets are not chewing on electrical cords.
  • Heated outside pet houses – while its summertime now we know that winter is coming. Please do not put heating devices in outdoor pet houses. If you think that it is cold enough to need to heat a pet house then it is cold enough to bring them inside.

The Boone Fire Department also has the following recommendations to help keep your pet safe in the event of a fire:

  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home – keep your pets collar on 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 the entrance where your pet can easily be found.
  • Secure young pets – especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire starting hazards when you are not supervising them in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Smoke Detectors/Alarm system – since pets left alone cannot escape a burning home consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so the fire department can be notified when you are not home. You should also verify that your smoke detectors work, check your smoke detectors once a month and change the battery every year.
  • It is the hope of the Boone Fire Department that with the donation of the Pet Oxygen Masks from the Invisible Fence Brand and with homeowners following the above tips we can all help to keep your pets safe.
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St. 3 – Firefighter Mike Hicks, Jax, Max, and Captain Kyle Hassler
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St. 2 – Battalion Chief Travis Spencer, Twinkles, and Firefighter Mike Snider