Electrical Safety: Pet-Proofing Your Home
If you’ve recently brought home a new furry friend, you need to take electrical safety measures into consideration. Just as you would take every effort to baby-proof your home, you should make an effort to take the necessary precautions to keep your pet safe.
Electrical cords, outlets, and wires present a very real threat to your pets- especially if they’re young. Here are a few of our best tips to pet-proofing your home’s electrical system so that your new best friend stays happy and healthy.
Make Access to Electrical Hazards Difficult
If you’re considering a new pet, you should try to take a look around your home and identify electrical hazards before bringing them home. These proactive efforts will prepare you to make the necessary changes to keep your pet out of harm’s way.
You can start by making access to electrical hazards difficult. Exposed wires look like perfect chew toys for your new pet- especially in the case of kittens and puppies. Once you’ve identified the most exposed wires and cords within your home, try to run them behind furniture where your pet will have a harder time getting to them.
Kittens are especially talented when it comes to squeezing into tight spaces (believe me, my kitten can get into the most unlikely of spaces) so you should consider investing in cord covers. If you notice that your pet seems particularly interested in cords and wires, spray a little bit of pet repellent nearby to deter them from chewing.
Additionally, all electrical outlets within your home should be covered and blocked whenever they’re not in use. Just like human babies, fur babies have a special interest in investigating everything and making these electrical dangers inaccessible can make all the difference.
Don’t Leave Young Pets Alone Unattended
Though it can be tempting to leave your puppy/kitten unattended for a quick trip to the store or even just to swing by a drive-thru, this can have tragic consequences. It’s likely that new puppies are in the teething stage and anything they can get their little teeth on presents a danger. Likewise, kittens have an irresistible urge to swat at and nip on dangling cords as they probably mistake them for the toys we usually use to play with them.
If you’ve started to notice that your new addition to the family has started to familiarize themselves with these possible electrical hazards, take the time to correct them whether it’s with verbal commands or even with a spray bottle (as long as you’re far enough away from electrical outlets and wiring, of course).
If you absolutely have to leave your pet alone for a period of time (which we highly discourage), at least unplug cords from sockets. While this won’t keep them from chewing, at least the electrical flow will eliminate the risk of electric shock. Until your pet has been trained to only chew on and play with their dog/cat toys, they simply shouldn’t be left unattended. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Keep Your Pet Away From Electrical Appliances
It’s well-known that kittens and puppies like to feel warm and secure– especially at nap time. Don’t allow them to get cozy behind electrical appliances such as dryers or behind your television. This prevents electrical dangers like electric shock. As a more obvious, but important, precaution, make sure there are no appliances near a source of water like bathtubs or sinks. Cats like to jump. One misplaced leap could knock an electrical appliance right in. As we know, electricity and wire don’t mix.
If you allow this behavior even once, you’re teaching your pet that it’s okay to take a daytime snooze here and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to keep them from doing so in the future. It’s vital to instill the proper behavior in your new pet early on. As we all know, the behaviors that you encourage and discourage early on will likely accompany your pet throughout their lifetime in one way or another.
Keep Lamps and Light Bulbs Out of Reach
Light Bulbs, especially halogen bulbs, can get super hot and one bump or jump into a lamp can cause it to fall. A broken bulb can cause both a glass hazard and a fire hazard. Lamps positioned on a table or bedside table that your pet can reach, can be burnt with only one touch.
If there’s a lamp or other light fixture anywhere near your pet’s play area, consider relocating it. If you’d rather not relocate the light fixture, make sure to keep this area off limits to your pet. Only allow your pet to play in areas that have a diminished risk of electrical hazards.
Replace Chewed or Frayed Wires/Cords Immediately
Did your sneaky pet get past you despite your best efforts? If they turned your electrical wires or cords into chew toys, replace any of the chewed or frayed cords immediately. This is a prime example of an electrical fire or electrical shock hazard and could pose a threat not only to your pet but to you and your family as well.
Call a licensed electrician immediately to get those wires replaced. It’s always better safe than sorry. Our Raleigh electricians are happy to help anytime!