With the changing of the seasons, fireplaces are becoming the main source of heat. The fireplace attracts pets to curl up on their beds near the warmth. They love the warmth just as much as their owners.

The holiday seasons are the more stressful times of the year for pet owners regarding their safety around the burning flames and ashes. Fireplaces are the main source of holding the heat as ashes settle. Household pets such as cats and dogs tend to lay near open fireplaces for wanting to soothe their bodies with the projected heat. Pets do not understand the dangers of getting too close. Besides the warmth; the sight and smell can cause attraction. As their owners, we want to protect them from any dangers. Letting your pets keep their beds beside the fire increases the risks of injury and fire. A stray ember or hot ash can land on their bedding or fur causing a flame to appear.

Prevention/Safety Tips:

  • Placing pet beds away from the fireplace – consider placing it on the other side of the couch or along the far wall of the room
  • Place a fireplace door and screen – these covers will keep them from touching embers, possibly getting splinters from unburned wood, and/or cause illness if ingested
  • Keeping toys out of reach of flouting embers – either on the other side of the room or in containers for the duration of an open fire
  • Always put out flames before leaving residence – dump water on the ashes and wait for the smoke to travel up the chimney

To ensure the smoke leaves the house, as the resident, you should always check the chimney for any debris from wildlife dropping down and the damper is functional. A damper is a piece of metal that functions as a door to seal the chimney when not in use. The damper keeps in the ac/heat when the fireplace is not in use. This also allows for smoke to escape the chimney when opened. ALWAYS double-check that the damper is open prior to igniting the fire.

Since pets are similar to children, we have to watch them while they are running around playing. Dogs like to tug on toys between another causing them to not pay attention to where they are running into, while cats are more worried about the hanging decorations on the mantle. It would be best to refrain from hanging decorations from the mantle while there is a burning fire. As their owners, need to be aware of their actions to maintain their safety.