7 Tips to keep pets and kids safe around fire
If you have children and/or pets, you know that it can be awfully hard to keep them safe. Children and pets both have an uncanny knack for getting themselves into all types of scrapes. That’s why it is important for parents and caregivers to be as proactive as possible when it comes to fire safety. The following tips and pointers from the experts are sure to help keep your children and pets safe when the fireplace is roaring:
Keep Matches At Bay
It is in a parent or caregiver’s best interests to make sure that they are always keeping their matches at bay. They should never be stored in an area that is readily accessible to a child, especially with parents and caregivers operating a wood fireplace. All it takes is one moment of thoughtlessness to leave a child and/or pet exposed to fire-related risks.
For younger kids, a shelf that is located on a mantel may be best. Meanwhile, parents with older children will need to take additional precautions. A box that is locked, with a key that is never accessible to these children, is the best choice. In fact, some parents may want to take this concept a step further. It is often best to keep the matches in a place that is nowhere near the fireplace’s hearth, or other flammable objects, such as a fire pit or a kitchen fire source. For more tips on how to prevent your pets from starting a fire click here.
Setting Proper Boundaries
Fires are not going to follow children and pets and attack them. It is the responsibility of a parent or caregiver to set the proper boundaries. Children and pets must know that there are no-fly zones to consider, whether we are discussing a fireplace, a kitchen fire source or even an outdoor fire pit. The strength of these directives will depend on the age of the child and the obedience level of the pet.
Obviously, the parents of a 2-year-old cannot expect to make a rule like this stick but it may be sufficient for parents of older children. On the other hand, younger children may benefit from having parents that make a fun game out of it. Some could decide to draw an imaginary line around the area in question, others could decide to establish a punishment of some sort if rules are not followed.
Creating an Easy Escape Route
This is crucial for pets, as they are far less likely to listen to logic and reason in the case of a chimney fire. Pet doors are a wonderful plan in these instances. They will offer pets an instant route outside in case of a more serious fire. Do not place pets in a position where they are going to be locked in a room, unable to escape.
If the pets have to be locked away, there are still precautions that can be taken. Make sure that they are left in a room that is close to an entryway. In a crisis situation, pets need to be located quickly before they have a chance to become panicked. If they cannot be found by the first person on the scene with ease, this is a sign that the plan needs to change.
Prevention Is Key
There is no need to worry about fire safety if there are no fires in the first place. Parents and caregivers should be taking a closer look around to make sure that there are no obvious hazards to be considered. Examine the home and make sure that there are no loose or frayed cords and plugs. If outlets are overloaded or extension cords are being overused, these are problems that have to be corrected.
The same goes for incorrect wattage bulbs and old circuit interrupters. It only takes one mishap to start a fire in these instances. That’s why professionals should be contacted if there is any doubt in your mind about the home’s safety. It is always better to be proactive than reactive when pets and children are involved.
Screens for Fireplaces
Parents and pet owners can take whatever steps that they want but sometimes, there is nothing else that can be done. If a child is too curious or a pet is too stubborn, this means that it is time to remove their ability to spend time by the fireplace entirely. A fireplace screen is a great way to keep pets and children safe and it can also add to the aesthetic appeal of this area of the home.
Sturdy fireplace screens are one of the best fire safety measures that can be taken. They will serve as a two-way barrier, keeping fireplace debris away from the kids and pets. Conversely, kids and pets are unable to make their way toward the flames. It’s a very simple way for parents and caregivers to offer themselves the necessary peace of mind.
Keep Toys In a Safe Place
This applies to pets and children equally. Neither group is likely to have an active interest in problematic locations of the home but when their toys are allowed to linger in the area? This serves as an unnecessary mistake that will draw them closer to the fireplace. Parents and caregivers must remain aware of all potential fire hazards in the home, including outdoor fire pits and kitchen fire sources.
While pets and kids are not always going to listen to the directives that are issued, there is nothing wrong with establishing certain areas as toy-free zones. The fewer reasons that pets and children have to approach the fireplace area, the safer they are going to be. If parents and caregivers are allowing their toys to be strewn about, this will only cause pets and children to be drawn to areas that are going to cause them to be unsafe. Establish the guidelines early and make sure that they are followed.
Monitor All Candles and Space Heaters
Much is made of fireplace safety but what about candles and space heaters? These are problematic items that are sure to cause a sizable amount of fire-related damage. Homeowners are often left to contend with expensive sooting damage from unattended candles, in addition to HVAC unit damages.
Meanwhile, those who leave space heaters unattended are risking severe fire damage. Pet owners and parents should remain on high alert when it comes to these items. All it takes is one moment of inattentiveness to leave a child or a pet in danger.
As a rule of thumb, space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can be burned. Candles cannot be left in any area that is readily accessible to pets or children, either. When space heaters or candles are in use, common sense is everything. Do not allow for any distractions and never leave anything that could become a fire hazard unattended.
Anyone who has any further questions about fire safety should direct their queries to the professionals. Please be sure to give us a call as soon as possible. Our team of experts is more than happy to assist you with any concerns that you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us today!