Fireplace Safety: Help Keep Pets Safe
While you’re curled up in the living room enjoying the warmth of a fire, you may not realize the dangers that a fireplace can pose to your pet. It may be hard to believe that a dog or cat could start a fire. But according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), pets accidentally cause more than 1,000 fires annually. Here are a few important tips for keeping your pets safe around the fireplace.
Whether you’re watching television or reading a book, always keep an eye on your pets. Never leave them alone when there is a blazing fire in the fireplace. Train or call them to follow you when leaving the room. It only takes a split second for an accident to happen, like getting burned on the fireplace doors or catching on fire from a hot ember that flies out of the fireplace.
Pet Safety Barrier
Install a child safety pet gate. These enclosed gates surround the fireplace or wood stove to keep children and pets away from the fire while allowing you to access the fireplace through a gate door. These barriers are generally 30” tall, but extra tall barriers up to 43” in height are also available for taller pets.
Glass Fireplace Doors
Even when the fire is out, pets could still get hurt chasing a toy into the fireplace. Glass fireplace doors are not only an essential safety device but will also provide more radiant heat in your living space. Since doors should be open for venting during live fires, a wire mesh screen should also be installed to prevent hot embers from jumping out and igniting nearby combustible objects. When the fire is out, close the doors to avoid the loss of heat. It will also keep your pets from getting burned on the hot grate and ashes if they get curious or chase a toy that happens to end up in the fireplace. A pet safety barrier will help keep your pets away from the hot glass doors.
Remove Combustible Objects
A hot ember can easily ignite the fur on your dog or cat, which can also accidentally ignite other nearby combustibles. You can keep your pets safe by keeping blankets, rugs, and other combustible objects away from the fireplace. Allow your pets to enjoy the warmth of a fire from a safe distance.
Avoid Playing Near the Fireplace
Don’t let pets play near the fireplace, even when it is not lit. They will not understand that the fireplace can hurt them until it is too late.
Plan Your Fire Escape
A fire can occur in any home. The American National Red Cross suggests homeowners have a fire escape plan and practice it with their pets. Plan an evacuation route in the event you need to exit your home in an emergency. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to exit safely and quickly.