A new study has found that nearly one thousand home fires are started each year by pets.
The study, done by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), found that stoves or cook tops are the most common way that pets accidentally start fires. Pets either on the stove or on nearby counter tops can knock things over onto the burners, or turn knobs when climbing or playing around the stove.
The NFPA website also recommends keeping lit candles in places that are inaccessible to animals. Space heaters can also be knocked over or items can be tipped or dropped onto them when pets are playing.
“Not many pet owners realize that their pet can actually be the cause of a devastating fire,” said American Kennel Club spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Simple preventative measures, such as flameless candles and stove knob covers, can mean the difference between life and death for your four-legged friends.”
Chris and Kay Wardlow of Oklahoma know that all too well. Their curious dog Lucy was home alone and spied a cake on the stove top. As Lucy tried to get a taste, her paw accidentally hit the stove knob and turned on the gas burner that was under the cake pan. Within minutes, the house was filled with smoke, triggering the Wardlow’s ADT smoke detector. Firefighters were called to the scene, the house was saved, and Lucy was rescued.