Find Out What You Can do to Protect Your House or Pick up the Pieces After A Fire
When it comes to house fires, there is a common cause that many homeowners may overlook – pets.
According to the latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, pets are responsible for causing more than 1,000 house fires each year in the US.
The fires often begin when a dog or cat accidently switches on an electric stove after pressing against a touch-sensitive button. Another frequent cause is flammable objects being placed too close to a stove and then getting knocked over by a pet.
In fact, a recent viral video on YouTube showed a dog nearly burning his family’s house down by reaching for a pizza box on the stove and accidently turning on a gas ignition knob with its paw.
Here are some tips to pet-proof your house both against fire and other unwanted occurrences. And if your home was recently damaged by a fire that was caused by a pet or something else, there are some tips on what to do next at the bottom of this page. But first …
Let’s take a closer look at pet-proofing your home.
Bringing a pet home requires that you make some modifications inside your house. Just as you would not let a child roam around your home without baby-proofing it first, you will need to move some items to make your house safer for your cat or dog.
You have to do an assessment of your home and look at things with your pet’s perspective in mind. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Put the toilet seat down. Dogs and cats have a tendency to try and drink out of the toilet, and small animals can drown. Plus, if you use chemicals in your toilet, your pet can get sick. If you are going to toilet-train your cat, still keep the seat down until you are ready to begin training.
- Medicines need to be locked away in a cabinet at all times. Cats like the sound the pills make in the bottles, so they have a tendency to play with them when they have the opportunity. If pills fall out and your cat eats them, your cat can become very ill.
Living Room/Family Room
- Put your candles up and out of the way. When they are lit, they can burn your pet and can easily get knocked over resulting in a fire. Also, keep in mind that the scent of some candles can result in your pet trying to eat the wax, which is not good for them.
- Put your figurines or collectables in a glass case or in a place where your pet cannot reach them. Shiny things attract animals and they have a tendency to enjoy knocking them over.
- Check inside the refrigerator, oven, freezer, and dishwasher before you close the door. Cats and kittens sometimes like to climb inside. The doors should be closed before you bring your cat home.
- Keep your pet away from the stovetop, especially when you are cooking. You can even purchase a guard for your stovetop to help keep your animals away.
- Also, be sure that no flammable objects are placed near the stove which could be knocked over by a wandering cat or dog and start a fire.
- When unloading your groceries, keep your plastic bags away from your pets, because they could try to play with them and end up suffocating.
- Put cleaning items away in a cabinet. Many cleaning chemicals can poison a pet resulting in it getting sick or dying. Some chemicals, in the right circumstances and right combinations, could also cause a house fire.
- Close the door to the washer and dryer. Cats especially like to climb into the dryer where it is warm. When doing your laundry, always check inside before closing the door.
- Windows should be kept closed for the first few weeks when you bring your pet home. If you have a second floor, those windows should not be left open, and screens need to be secured. Cats like to sit in the window, and if the screens are not secured the cat could fall out.
- Secure electrical cords. There are plenty of supplies at your hardware store to cover and secure electrical cords. Many dogs and cats like to chew on loose cords, posing a potential electrocution or the start of a fire. Pets can also pull down heavy equipment by playing with the cords. Put plastic protectors in your unused outlets.
- For the first few weeks you have your pet home, you will want to put your curtains up over the top rail. Kittens especially will like to climb your curtains, and they can fall causing injury.
Miscellaneous Rooms Continued
- Put away small items that your pet can swallow or choke on like needles, buttons, earrings, etc.
- Trashcans need to be put away or secured to keep your dog or cat from getting into the garbage. There may be things in there that pose a hazard to your cat like meat bones or strings. There could also be flammable material in there that could cause a house fire. It is likely that your pet could spread the garbage all over the house while you are gone. After you have to vacuum coffee grounds out of the carpet for a month, you will remember to put the trashcan away.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure you have a fireguard around it. Cats, in particular, can easily be drawn to the fire causing them to be singed or severely burnt or leading them to drag something out of the fire while it is burning, which can cause a house fire.
- Go over the plants you have in your home. Some of the plants that are hazardous to your pets are caladiums, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), poinsettia, ivy, mistletoe, oleander, laurels, rhododendron, and winter cherry (solanum capiscastrum).
- Be careful what chemicals you are using in your garden and on your lawn. Make sure that your pesticides are safe for use around cats and dogs. Unless the label states clearly that it is safe for use around pets, do not use it.
- If you live near a high traffic area, you may not want to allow your pet outside. Cars pose the greatest risk to outdoor animals.
- Avoid using poisons to kill rodents, as your cat or dog may not eat the poison directly, but your cat can still become ill or die from eating a poisoned rodent.
- Lock away all outdoor/automotive chemicals. Antifreeze is especially attractive to animals, and it is deadly to cats.
- Keep a cover on your pond. If you have a kitten, they will often be tempted to catch some koi and they can drown. Sometimes adult cats will even indulge.
Has your home already been damaged by a fire caused by a pet (or from another cause)?
If so, We Buy Fire Damaged Houses buys burned homes in as is condition. We also pay all cash so that you can get your money fast and move on with your life. To learn more, and see if your home qualifies for a free, no-obligation quote, please fill out the form below.