If you’re a pet owner, part of the enjoyment of your fireplace is definitely going to be the thought of watching your little friend stretch out and enjoy the warmth in their own way. After all, you know more than anyone that just like you, your cat or your dog, or whatever animal shares your home, will very likely choose that fireside place as their favourite spot to curl up in the winter evenings, given half a chance. So let's consider what you need to think about to keep them safe.
Most of us as adults take fire safety for granted. So some of the tips for keeping our pets safe might seem just too common sense to mention, especially when you think about how your pet survives out and about on their own In dog years, your pet might be the same age as you, and it’s easy for a new owner to assume that their pet would know how to take care of themselves, as they would do in the wild. But it's not that simple, and especially within your home, it’s better to take extra precautions than to look back and wish you’d done something in hindsight.
The first step is to check that the basket or cushion that's set aside for them to relax on is always kept far enough away from the heat source. You want them to feel the benefit of the fireplace, but not to find the fabric of their bed overheating and scorched by the intensity.
It’s important to help your pet to recognise that fireplace area definitely aren’t a good place for a game of chase or an excitable moment. Make sure that you don’t engage that kind of boisterous or playful energy next to the fire so that they get used to that area being quiet and special - and safe!
A fire screen is going to be an important addition. It's just a safe barrier that keeps the fierce heat safely away, and also helps prevent spits and sparks flying from the flames towards the fur of your precious pet. Choose a beautiful fireplace screen so that it will enhance the ambience of the room rather than killing the mood every time you need to use it. It'll help save your rug from sparks and embers too.
Heatproof doors will come as standard on the fireplaces that need them, but they can be expensive to replace. So that’s another reason to ensure there aren’t too many playful pet antics happening in front of the fireplace.
When lighting an open fire, adjust the damper to allow fumes to escape from the room, and help avoid a build up of toxic gases in your living space. You won’t want to be breathing those in, and neither will your pet.
Those are just a few guidelines to ensure you and your pet can enjoy your fireplace in safety. You might bend the rules a little if you're going to snuggle up with them on the sofa under your supervision, but remember always to keep an eye on your pet when the fireplace is lit.