The Best Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe from Electrical Hazards
Electricity is one of the most dangerous hazards in your home, especially if you have pets. Pets, like children, are unaware of the dangers posed by plugs, wires, and electrical devices in the home. Because pets are naturally curious, they may begin to play with or chew on your electrical items, posing a fire or shock that could result in injury. Fortunately, there are simple and preventive measures you can take to safeguard your pets.
Tips for keeping your pets safe from electrical hazards
Keep power cables secure and hidden
Electrical wires, particularly those dangling from the edge of tables or countertops, are a serious hazard to pets who like to play with or chew on them. Playing with or chewing on a wire can result in shock, burns, injuries from a falling object or electrocution. Avoid trouble by keeping electrical wires out of their reach and hidden. If you can't cover wires well enough, use plastic tubing designed for concealing wires.
Never leave electrical appliances unattended
When lamps, fans, makeup mirrors, irons, or heaters are not in use, it is simple to forget to switch them off. Leaving them connected to the power source, on the other hand, can be hazardous to your pet, especially if you are not at home.
Turning off or unplugging appliances keeps you safe while also saving you money on the cost of unused electricity or having to replace damaged appliances. Lighter-weight flat-screen TVs should be securely mounted to the walls or a sturdy base to avoid tipping over. Curious cats love to get on counters, tables and shelves where electronics can be knocked off.
Set boundaries for your pet
This recommendation is primarily for pets with free access to your home. Teaching them to avoid certain areas will improve safety. As a deterrent, you can keep cats and dogs away from your electrical items by treating the area with bitter spray. Most dogs and cats have a negative reaction to the taste or smell. Keeping cats off counters is a little trickier while you’re away. If you have a way to close off certain rooms to avoid curiosity, this may be a good precautionary measure.
Electricity and water should always be avoided
Because electricity and water don't mix, it's a good idea to avoid placing electrical items anywhere near bathtubs, sinks, or other areas where water is routinely used. Always provide fresh water for your pets to reduce the risk of them seeking water elsewhere in the house.
Ensure your yard is secure and properly fenced
Pets love to play outside, which can be hazardous if precautions aren’t taken. Fencing the yard properly keeps them away from dangerous outdoor electrical items such as landscape lights, holiday string lights, underground wires and HVAC system wiring. Don’t leave radios, fans and other electrical equipment outside or unattended.
If you have outdoor outlets, have waterproof covers installed and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) installed, which automatically cut power when a plugged item comes in contact with water or begins to “leak” electricity.
Carefully managing your home and looking at your current electrical set-up through the eyes of your curious and playful pets greatly reduces the risk of electrical shock or accidents.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 member utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states, that together deliver reliable, affordable, and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West.