For 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.