For concerned pet parents there are many additional electrical safety and fire hazards to take into consideration as summer heats up and the temperatures begin to rise. This summer is already a hot one, and experts foresee the probability of “well above average” warmth for most of the country until August.
June is National Safety Month, and therefore an opportune time to remember to pet-proof your home in the name of heat and electrical safety. This information will help your four-legged family’s adventures – both indoors and out – from becoming disasters.
Any investments in time and money you make today will more than pay for themselves by keeping some of the most vulnerable members of your household out of harm’s way. Electrical shocks and burns can seriously injure our feline and canine friends, leading to costly veterinary bills and some very scary situations for everyone. Rather than putting yourself through the stress and expense of nursing a hurt pet back to good health, you can prevent many common injuries before they occur with a little planning.
Tuck away electrical cords
Electrical cords are one of the primary electrical hazards for pets, who very often chew them or bat them around with their paws. This playful behavior may lead to shocks, burns, inflammation and other health problems. Try to run your wires and cords behind appliances and out of sight so that they don’t pique the curiosity of your animals. For sections of cord that cannot be effectively hidden, you can pet-proof them by surrounding them with PVC pipes or safety cable. If your animal just won’t leave your electrical system alone, you can coat your cords with Tabasco sauce, lemon juice or another unpleasant substance to dissuade your pet from playing with them. Air conditioning units and fans are running over time in the summer, so be sure to check if any cords become frayed or otherwise damaged and replace them as soon as possible.
Electricity and water don’t mix
Be especially cautious about leaving electrical devices, such as radios, clocks, and irons, close to your sink, bathtub or any other area where water is frequently used. Your pet might knock the gadget over into the water, either inadvertently or on purpose, and we all know water and electricity should never mix under any circumstances. You can plug any such appliances into an outlet featuring a ground fault circuit interrupter for a measure of security, but the best way to avoid this problem is to not leave electrical appliances around these parts of your house in the first place. Exercise similar caution if you have an aquarium! Make sure all plugs are secure within their sockets so that they don’t tempt curious paws and snouts.
Thunder storms bring more than just scary sounds
Of course, animals and their owners spend more time outside in the summer than any other season of the year. In the event that your pets are caught outside in a thunderstorm, get them back inside right away. While the chances of being struck by lightning are remote, heavy winds and rain can down power lines, which poses a serious danger. Electrical lines are carrying heavier-than-normal loads this time of year as people power up electrical appliances and home cooling systems, so be sure to use extra precaution if your morning walk strands you in the rain.
Avoid electrical substations at all costs; if your animal should wander inside one, don’t follow it. Instead, call your utility company immediately, and they will rescue your pet. If your pet regularly roams around fenced-in outdoor spaces, make sure that all underground electrical lines are buried at a safe depth so that your pet cannot dig them up.
We’ve only just scratched the surface of the right ways of responsibly safeguarding your pets from fire and electrical incidents. For further helpful info, human animals can click over to the Electrical Safety Foundation and other resources online. If you still feel unprepared, consider hiring a licensed electrician to perform a safety inspection and suggest further areas for improvement. The most important step in pet parent safety is simply staying on-guard and at the ready should any unplanned accidents occur.
About the Author: Emma Jane is a freelance writer living in Chicago with her cat, Mochi, where they explore the newest neighborhood pet shops and pet friendly boutiques. Emma writes about sustainability, all the newest tech and of course, furry companions.