Pets and Fires: Tips to Avoid Going Up in Smoke
According to the National Fire Protection Association, our cuddly, furry friends are responsible for more than 1,000 accidental house fires every year. For pet lovers everywhere, this statistic serves as an important warning that certain ordinary household goods – such as candles, electrical cords and heating appliances – should always be kept out of the reach of pets while in use.
Here are some safety suggestions for fire-proofing – and pet-proofing – your home:
* Use flameless candles. If you have dogs or cats, lit candles are an accident waiting to happen. With just a flick of Kitty’s tail, your whole house could go up in flames. Likewise, pets may get serious burns from trying to play with a lit candle. If you must use real candles, put them in places where your pets can’t reach them and don’t leave them unattended. For the best protection, don’t use real candles at all but opt instead for the safe, flameless variety.
* Bundle up those cords. Dogs and especially cats love to play with string, yarn – and cords. Kitty will think that your electrical cords are nothing but a pile of extra-thick yarn, and your cords could get seriously damaged by eager teeth. Likewise, if your cat or dog plays with a cord that’s plugged in, it could result in severe injuries to your pet and a possible electrical fire. Secure your cords so that they’re out of reach of your dogs and cats.
* Use burner covers. Your dog or cat has no idea that your stovetop is a heat source. If your pets decide to go exploring, they could accidentally turn on a burner and ignite a fire. When you’re not using your stove, keep burner covers on at all times – and make sure you always keep your oven door closed.
* Pet-proof your pipes. Especially during colder weather, cats and dogs sometimes search for heated areas to lie on. If you have an old-fashioned radiator or exposed hot water pipes in the room, barricade them so that your pet can’t climb on them. Otherwise, your dog or cat could suffer serious burns.
* Invest in plenty of smoke detectors. You can never have too many smoke detectors, especially if you have pets. There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor of your home. If you’re away for most of the day and your animals are home alone, consider installing self-monitored smoke detectors that can immediately alert a call center whenever smoke is detected.
* Put a pet alert sticker on the door. If a fire or other emergency occurs while you’re away, you’ll want emergency personnel to know that there are animals in your home. Make a note of how many pets are in the house and attach it securely to your front door or window where it can be seen.
* Invest in a solid homeowner insurance policy that will cover you in case of fire, theft and other catastrophes. If you’re interested in multiple home insurance quotes HomeInsurance.com offers an exceptional selection of quotes for a variety of insurance needs.
Experts agree that a great many accidental home fires can easily be prevented by using a few safety measures. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll provide a safer, more secure environment for yourself, your family and your furry loved ones.
Travis Dearing has extensive experience as an insurance consultant. His career spans over 20 years and he enjoys sharing his insights on various blogs.