Do you know how long in takes for a pet to suffocate in a house fire? : Understand the needs of your pets

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About "Camy", the founder of Pet Alert and author of "Guide to Pet Safety" and her quest to help pet parents increase their pet's survival during an emergency and protect their pets environment 24/7/365.
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Do you know how long in takes for a pet to suffocate in a house fire?

by Camy Thumwood on 05/04/10

Fire smoke inhalation is dangerous and the number one cause of death in house fires!  Just like standing in the smoke from a campfire or BBQ and not being able to get away from it you would start to choke and suffer from smoke inhalation. However, in a house fire the smoke is more toxic due to the gases released from other burning objects. Once you start to inhale the smoke, you are not getting enough oxygen to live.

Depending on the density and heat of the smoke, it may take 2 to 10 minutes to pass out or die. If there is more oxygen in the room, then you would have more time (but not much). Fire burns oxygen, so as a fire continues to be active, more oxygen gets removed from the room. Smoke puts too much carbon monoxide into the lungs which prohibits oxygen into your body and carbon dioxide getting released out of your body. Usually causing you to pass out before dying and can cause brain damage.  15 minutes of straight smoke (0% oxygen) would kill you, 5-10 minutes would cause permanent brain damage in humans.

Just like humans, pets usually have less than 20 minutes depending upon the location of the house fire and how hot and fast it is burning.  

Birds only have a few minutes due to their small lungs.    

Dogs usually get excited, panic and hyper ventilate during a fire, so they inhale smoke faster and have usually about 10-15 minutes depending on their size.  

Cats usually hide and lay low where the smoke is less, so they have the longest chance to strive, maybe about 15-20 minutes.  

Other Caged pets are at the mercy of their location and the type of fire.


How long does it take for you to get home from work in an emergency?  

Do you have a fire alarm that calls 911?  

Will firefighters know about your pets?

Does your neighbor know that you have pets and where your pets are?

Who knows who to contact to house or help your pets?   

Learn more  

Camy share her thoughts on pet safety: See below -
Camy specializes in:
* Pet Safety Education & Pet Disaster Preparedness

* Learning to live with your Elderly Cat or Dog 
   - Learning about their needs for comfort and quality of life.
Camy Thumwood is the founder of Pet Alert and has been an advocate for pet safety awareness and training since 1990. She has worked closely with emergency personnel, veterinarians, and animal organizations since then regarding the issues with pets during 911 emergencies situations and disasters. 

Camy studied life threatening situations of pets during all types of emergencies and interviewed many concerned pet owners that had lost a pet due to a home fire and other situations. She also worked closely with many different departments (Fire, Police, Paramedics, Highway Patrol and Animal Control) to understand how they could and would use available current information to help them and the pets.

With the help of all the emergency personnel mentioned above,  Camy has designed and developed the Pet Alert Emergency Information System (kit) to help protect and provide proper information quickly and easily to first responders about all pets and animals that may be involved in a 911 incident; I.e. house fire, auto accident owners medical emergency, etc. to help make rescue possible  and quicker, plus help protect emergency personnel at the same time by providing proper information at hand 24/7.  

The Pet Alert Emergency Information System is the “original pet emergency information kit” and is NOT a sticker, but a complete emergency information system that cover the pet while at home or traveling, all in a universal format.  Warning: A window sticker is just not enough information to protect pets or their future.  

The Pet Alert Emergency Information System kit was recognized by the International Fire Chiefs Association as "a Safety/Informational Tool” for emergency personnel when pets are involved in an emergency situation because it includes all necessary information to help locate and rescue pets, while providing correct and easy access information on all pets involved, as long as the pet parent keeps the info current.

Her objective has always been to share her knowledge to help all pet parents and animal lovers in preparing for emergency situations, and by doing so avoid pet hazards and pets from dyeing.

For that reason and a standing request from Fire Chiefs to share her knowledge, she wrote the book "Guide to Pet Safety 'Saving the Entire Family' Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Reference" book.  Camy states "with her book, pet parents can save precious time when their pet’s life depends on it". The Guide to Pet Safety can teach everyone the important facts on how to protect all their beloved companion pets and animals throughout their lives, not just in emergencies. 

The Guide is many years of experience and knowledge of important pet safety information and is now simplified into "one easy to use guide". The Guide to Pet Safety is supported by firefighters, veterinaries and animal shelters for pet safety training, general pet emergency information and disaster preparedness involving all types of pets, even livestock.

Camy is also the author of “HOME ALONE - The Perils That Pets Face” and has been "protecting pets like family” since 1991 and the the guiding light of the “Orange County Pet Safety Days”, a public venue in conjunction with Firefighters, Canine Officers, Animal Control, Veterinarians and the Pet Industry to provide pet safety education in California; now known as a yearly National Pet Fire Safety Day on July15th. She is an active advocate for pet safety education and pet disaster preparedness programs throughout the US and Canada and shares her experience with Emergency Management Teams for disaster readiness and pet parent preparedness.

Camy teaches fire and police departments in proper use of the Pet Alert Emergency Information System and pet safety education classes for pet owners. She is a popular guest on many pet related and news shows regarding pet safety issues. She greatly supports the need for pet safety standards throughout the pet industry.
Camy feels that pets are and should be included as part of the family unit, and that pet parents deserve the peace of mind in knowing all members of their family will be taken care of in case of an emergency, medical situation or natural disaster. She is dedicated to keep the Pet Alert Emergency Information System the most effective, easy and economical way to help people keep their pet's emergency information on hand, and all the right place for first responders. Plus to educate all pet owners how to be prepared for a pet emergency with her book the "Guide to Pet Safety".
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