From shock and fire risks to power outages, winter safety preparations and precautions are not only for people, but for pets as well. Take steps to ensure your furry family stays safe this winter.
Cold winter temperatures may introduce unfamiliar electrical devices—such as space heaters, heating pads, and electric blankets—into the home. Keep them away from curious pets.
Discourage pets from sleeping near or behind electronics or appliances. Many pets are attracted to the warmth, but this is a potential fire hazard. Block off appliances and electronics if you must.
Never let your pet nap on a heating pad or electric blanket, as this presents a risk of electrical burn and can also result in overheating the appliance, which may start a fire.
Keep electrical cords tucked out of sight of puppies and kittens. If you have difficulty getting your pet to stop chewing on the cord, you can paint it with a bitter-tasting deterrent or enclose the cord in a PVC tube or plastic sleeve.
If you have an aquarium, make sure you create a drip loop on every electrical cord that enters the tank. This will prevent water from running down the cord and into the electrical outlet. To be sure the cord stays looped, stick a cord clip on the wall just below the outlet and thread the cord into the clip.
Winter storms can cause power outages. Be sure to include pets in your emergency weather plans. Keep supplies in your emergency kit for pets in preparation for bad weather. Make sure the kit it is stocked with at least three days’ worth of food, water, and any medicine they may need.
After a storm, remember to use caution if you or your pets must go outside. Be on the lookout for downed lines, damaged electrical equipment, and other conductive materials. Stay far away from these hazards, and contact your utility immediately. Just because a line is down does not mean that it no longer carries an electrical charge.
For more electrical safety tips, visit SafeElectricity.org.