How to keep pets from causing home fires

Both cats and dogs can get excited around sudden loud noises, visitors and potential fire hazards in the home. Excited pets can pose a safety hazard in homes where open flames are commonplace. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that around 1,000 home fires each year are started by pets.

Here are some strategies pet owners can implement recommended by the American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services to reduce the risk of fire in their homes caused by pets.

Be especially careful around and mindful of open flames. Pets can easily tip over candles and gain access to fireplaces when open flames are burning. Extinguish such flames whenever leaving a room, or ask someone to come in and look after pets so they are not left unattended around flames. Even candles on fireplace mantels pose a hazard as curious cats can leap onto mantelpieces and tip over the candles.

Cover stove knobs. Stove knobs are another potential fire hazard in homes with curious pets. Knob covers prevent pets from accidentally turning on burners when no one is looking. Pet owners who let their pets roam free around the house while they’re at work or out running errands should cover stove knobs before leaving their homes.

Purchase flameless candles. Flameless candles are a great option for pet owners whose pets are energetic or especially curious. Flameless candles are battery-powered and provide ambient light without an open flame.

Consider crating pets or limiting access to certain areas if animals are not yet house-trained. Puppies and kittens are especially curious and eager to explore their new surroundings. That makes it easy for them to find trouble even in areas where pet owners think there isn’t any. Confine pets to crates during times of day when you plan to light candles or the fireplace or install gates to keep them out of rooms where they can access open flames.

Exercise caution when using a grill or firepit. Charcoal grills and firepits are not indoors, but they can still pose a fire hazard outside. If necessary, keep pets indoors when grilling or sitting around the firepit. If you want them to be outdoors at these times, prevent them from accessing areas where the grill and firepit are located.

Pets tend to be curious and that curiosity can be dangerous around open flames. Some simple tips can reduce the risk of home fires caused by pets.

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