The fireplace is a potentially dangerous place for our pets. Like us, our pets crave the warmth of a nice crackling fire, or the laptop, or the electric blanket… you get the idea. We often share our own warmth with our pets as we sit and relax in a chair or on the sofa with a blanket and a good book – and our pet curled up on our lap or at our feet. It feels like the perfect picture of relaxation, right? So let’s talk about six great ways to protect your beloved furry family member from harm while you both enjoy a nice warm fire.

  1. Training: Train your pet to stay away from the hearth. Set up borders if necessary, and never allow cats to climb into the fireplace if you intend to use it. Cats are intelligent creatures with an innate fear of fire, but you never know when an accident may occur.
  2. No Toy Rule: Never play with or throw your pet’s toys toward or near the fireplace. The farther away from the fireplace your pet’s toys are the better. Your dog’s wagging tail or your cat’s propensity to jump away from a toy and pounce back toward it could create a very dangerous situation if there’s a fire in the fireplace.
  3. No Bedding Nearby: As tempting as it is, especially for older pets that truly need the heat from the fireplace to help with the pain associated with arthritis, don’t put your pet’s bedding any closer than three feet away from the fireplace. Add a blanket to your pet’s bed instead of moving it closer to the fireplace and risking a painful burn.
  4. Fireplace Screen or Door: A fireplace screen is an excellent way to stop embers from popping out of the fireplace and onto your pet, carpeting, or furniture. Some curious pets may try to put a paw through the screen and end up burned on accident. A glass fireplace door will prevent the pet from actually putting a paw into the fire, and the glass allows you an unobstructed view of the flame so you don’t lose the ambience.
  5. Baby Gate: A baby gate is a great option if you need to set a boundary around the fireplace to keep curious pets out of harm’s way.
  6. Wood Storage: Most pets love to play with or chew wood. Store your firewood out of reach of your pet if you worry that it will chew or otherwise destroy your firewood. Puppies and dogs love to chew wood, and a cat can create a toy with nearly anything. Birds often like to sit on firewood, and reptiles like to hide in it, which makes it even more dangerous for them.

These six fireplace safety tips will go a long way in keeping your family pet out of harm’s way while you’re enjoying a fire in the fireplace. Call Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 to schedule your annual chimney inspection and cleaning to protect your home and all of its inhabitants, whether human, animal, bird, reptile, or otherwise, from dangerous carbon monoxide buildup and other chimney problems.