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Indoor Pets And Fire Damage Risks

fire damage cleanup greenville, fire damage restoration greenville, fire damage repair greenvilleFor several months, businesses have been creative to keep business flowing and their teams safe. Some folks feel productive in a home office; some employees are longing to return to the office. One group of coworkers, however, is ecstatic about working from home– the pets! Social media has been overflowing with the adorable things they do while we try to log into Zoom, take conference calls, and type with one hand (the other hand resting on the furry friend.)

More than ⅔ of American households have pets that bring laughter, relieve stress, and ease loneliness. However, pets also accidentally start almost 1,000 home fires every year in the United States. And unfortunately, the National Fire Protection Association reports that at minimum 40,000 pets die each year in house fires.  

Because of this, it is important to understand the possible places that pets can cause fire damage and the need for cleanup.

Fire Damage Restoration In Greenville

Cooking In The Kitchen

Stoves and cooktops are involved in the largest number of fires started by pets. By jumping up to see what might be on the stove, their paws can accidentally turn on the knobs with their paws when they do.  Even after turning off the burners, don’t leave tempting food on the stove top unattended. In at least one incident reported by the American Kennel Club (AKC) ®, a curious dog accidentally hit the stove knob and turned on the gas burner, starting a fire that filled the house with smoke. While this may seem like a small number, fire damage cleanup is no funny business and checking for these things is a big deal. 

Tempting Cords And Electrical Devices

Electrical cords can be irresistible to both dogs and cats. Minimize the exposure of cords to your pets. Not only are they harmful to chew on, once damaged, they can short out, spark, and start a fire, resulting in some serious fire damage cleanup. One great way to break the habit is to unplug the cord and then wipe it with a cloth that has been sprayed with bitter apple spray (available at nearly all pet stores.)  

  • Your pet can easily knock over a space heater by 1) knocking something over into it or 2) leaving one of his toys right next to it. He could also 3) get burned if he gets too close. Also be careful with electric blankets. Both dogs and cats can claw or chew on these which damages the blanket’s heater wires. Once exposed, there is a serious threat of electrocution. The exposed wires could also heat up the sheets or mattress to a point of causing a fire. 

Open Flames

Another common cause of house fires started by pets is candles. Luckily, flameless candles are becoming more attractive and popular but still dangerous. Flameless candles use batteries and if your pet chews them, they can cause major digestive upset and burns to the mouth.  

Fireplaces and wood stoves are another potential hotspot for pets. Pets can get too close and receive burns to their faces, paws and tails. Protect your friends with a pet-proof screen or a safety barrier. Pets should also be trained to stay a safe distance from stoves, fireplaces, and even chimneys and campfires. As a precaution, you should never play active games (such as ball chasing) in a room with a lit fire.  Curious dogs could toss their toys into it or reach in to investigate. Extinguish the fire before you leave your pet alone around it. 

Extra Fire Safety Tips & Precautions

  • When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.
  • Make sure your house is fully equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries twice a year. According to Consumer Reports you should replace detectors at least every 10 years as the sensors become less effective over time.
  • Have an emergency plan. Involve ALL members of your family – including pets. Then rehearse your plan every year. The National Fire Protection Association has a free emergency planning guide with a grid to map out your escape route.
  • Keep the phone number and address of your nearest emergency animal hospital in your phone. Also, have a current photo of your pet – just in case you get separated from them. Pick up a pet alert sticker for your front door from the ASPCA.

Fires happen fast. In Anderson County, Premier Construction is a full-service restoration company dedicated to fire prevention and quality fire cleanup after disasters. The integrity of your property relies on how quickly the restoration process begins after the fire is out; lingering soot and smoke will damage your home even more if not cleaned up right away.