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Celebrate the benefits of pets while being mindful of fire safety

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By Lisa Braxton

On April 12th, my husband and I celebrated our cat, Savannah’s, second birthday. As we marked the occasion, we reflected on how fast she grew from kitten to full-sized cat. Little did we know that only a few weeks after we stored away the box of birthday kibbles, we’d have another reason to celebrate our frisky, feline family member. May is National Pet Month, which is devoted to promoting the benefits of pet ownership, to support pet adoption, and the role, value and contribution to society of working companion animals.

As we celebrate our pets, let’s take time out to think about safety. Pets give us comfort, friendship, and unconditional love. Our connection to them can be among the strongest relationships in our lives, but pets can cause fires. Pets and wild animals have a part in starting about 700 home fires per year. Roughly three-quarters of these fires were started by cooking equipment, fireplaces or chimneys, lighting, or candles. NFPA’s Pet Fire Safety tip sheet provides information on care that should be taken with pets in our homes.

  • Keep pets away from candles, lamps, and space heaters.
  • Consider battery-operated, flameless candles. They look and smell like real candles.
  • Some pets are chewers. Watch pets to make sure they don’t chew through electrical cords. Have any problems checked by a professional.

The tip sheet also includes information on pets and wildfires. Pets should be included in a family’s wildfire evacuation plan.

Source:: NFPA – Safety Information


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