Your cat could set fire to your house—here's how to pet proof it

Jan 3 2022, 12:33 am

It’s hard to believe, but your furry friend could be respawnsible for burning your house down.

South Korean officials warned pet owners in Seoul after the capital’s Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters reported more than 100 fires in the city were caused by cats over the past three years.

“Cat-started fires are continuing to be reported these days. We advise pet owners to pay extra attention to fire risks,” Chung Gyo-chul, an official told the Korea Herald.

According to the fire department, a total of 107 cat-related house fires occurred in Seoul between January 2019 and November 2021. Nearly half of those cases occurred while the owners were out.

Cats have allegedly started fires by turning on electric stoves with their paws, explained the agency.

These feline incidents aren’t unique to South Korea. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), pets play a part in starting about 750 house fires per year.

In 2014, for example, dogs likely started a house fire in the Yukon by playing with a box of matches.

Here are a few ways you can pet and fire-proof your home according to the NFPA:

  • Keep pets away from stoves and countertops. Your furry friends are curious creatures that can turn on, bump into, or knock over cooking equipment.
  • Keep pets away from space heaters, lamps and candles, or opt for battery-operated, flameless candles.
  • Keep an eye on your pets and make sure they don’t chew through any electrical chords.
  • If you have a fireplace, keep pets at a safe distance.
  • Ensure that your pet is included in your evacuation plan if there is a fire. Never go back inside a burning building for your pets; let the firefighters do that.

Here’s to more fun and no fires with your pets!

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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