Around the holidays, many of us experience different work and travel schedules, the weather changes, and we decorate our living space in new and beautiful ways. Your cats experience all of these changes, too, and with the festive holiday feelings, there are new safety considerations for everyone living in your home.
Whatever holidays you celebrate – even if you don’t celebrate any holiday at all this time of year – it’s common to see an increase in the use of candles in the home. Unfortunately, for many cats, the sparkling flame is simply too tempting to leave unexplored. This could lead to you cat batting a candle to the floor (causing a mess of wax), burning their paws or whiskers, or nudging the candle too close to a dangerously flammable item in your home (like curtains or holiday decorations). To avoid these holiday candle hazards, consider the following tips:
- Never leave lit candles where you can’t see them. This includes lighting candles before you leave your home or go to sleep, but it also includes when you’re spending time far from the room your candles are in. You never know when your kitty will go exploring.
- Consider candle placement carefully. If possible, place your candle where your cat can’t reach it. Also, make sure it isn’t anywhere near flammable items so that, if it does get bumped, nothing else with catch fire.
- Use flameless candles, and you won’t have to worry at all!
This time of year, it’s important to consider more than just candles when we think of fire hazards. Sites like cathealth.com provide great tips for fire safety and your cats. Here are a few considerations to get you started!
- Fireplaces – a simple screen can keep your cat from getting too close and potentially spreading embers throughout the house.
- Heaters – space heaters are a common source of house fires, and it’s often because they are knocked over or, like candles, are too close to flammable items. An additional consideration with cats is what could happen if they bat their potentially flammable toys into the heater.
- Stoves and Ovens – while exploring, your cat may turn on your stove or oven. Those knobs are not only sometimes easy to turn, they may look like toy to your cat! Never leave anything on or in your stove (just in case it is turned on) and consider purchasing knob covers to decrease the chances anything will be accidentally turned on.
What if – despite all of your careful choices – there is a fire in your home? Help firefighters by placing an emergency pet notification in your window. Stickers like these alert emergency responders to the number of pets in your home if there is an emergency.
Do you have other fire safety tips you can share with our community? Please share them in the comments below!