Keep your pets from starting house fires


A city worker holds a dog at the animal city shelter in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. After seeing the number of adoptions go down to zero in the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic, the Rio city shelter is celebrating the success of their Pet Delivery program. Now, administrators running animal shelter are offering pets through a virtual system that allows prospective owners to browse online and, after choosing a pet, the shelter brings the animal to their homes, bathed, spayed and with all inoculations. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

(KRON) — ‘Tis the season for coziness — and that usually includes lighting a few pumpkin-scented candles, sitting by the fireplace or ramping up the home cooking for festive feasts and warm soups.

All things that can ignite house fires.

During wildfire season in California, it’s even more important to note that it’s not just your own actions that will keep you safe from a fire. Pets can accidentally start one too.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, pets start nearly 1,000 home fires per year. Of course, it’s not intentional — but it can be preventable.

The Red Cross compiled some precautions everyone can adopt to keep their pets away from flames:

  • Extinguish Open Flames
    • Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs
    • Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house – a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in Flameless Candles
    • These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets
    • Keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas

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