Paranoid or protective: What do YOU check before you leave your pets at home each day?

I’ll be the first to admit I’m super paranoid when it comes to fire and my cats. I consider my paranoia a genetic trait, as my mother was so afraid of fire she had a working smoke detector in every room and changed the batteries out twice a year.

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Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

This is an article I hope we can all learn from and help each other. The idea came from my friend Denise Lane Painter who posted on her Facebook wall

“Another friend posted that they averted a fire at their rescue last night, a punctured heavy duty extension cord that had been peed on by a helpful cat. When she found the problem, it was actually smoking. She had just returned home from errands when she found it. A few more minutes and things might have been quite different.

That’s three rescuers in three days that I’ve seen or know that have either had a fire at their rescue or found one before it started and kept it from happening.”

More holidays are celebrated these days and are celebrated for a longer period of time. Halloween moves straight into Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) then into Christmas. Families leave their pets at home and want them to be as protected as possible. Everyone I’ve spoken with is terrified of some disaster taking their pets while their pets are home alone.

Personally, my paranoid routine before leaving our cats (which is very seldom both my daughter and myself are gone) is to unplug appliances (including the scented wax burner) and to be sure the trash is tied up well (dogs and cats have suffocated by getting into everything from empty potato chip bags to feeding bins).

Another precaution my mother taught me at a young age was to turn the knives facing downward in the dish drainer by the kitchen sink. Cats can and do make acrobatic leaps over dishes and silverware left in the dish drainer to dry.

Have you ever had a near miss or lost your home in a fire? Please feel free to leave your story in the comment section. You might just save a life.

6 thoughts on “Paranoid or protective: What do YOU check before you leave your pets at home each day?”

  1. Yes I’m very careful. I leave nothing on when I leave, sometimes for hours, except maybe some tunes or radio talk to entertain them. But I go a step further and leave all doors open; I mean unlocked and wide open so my cats would never be trapped inside if something happened. They are more important than my home and everything in it. Seriously.

  2. Thought I was the only one who worried like this — not so severe now that I have a home office setup. But years ago when I commuted I unplugged everything, etc. & even taped over sockets lest the cats stick their paws in or spray into them. Think that was going too far? A bit neurotic??? Obsessive/compulsive? Our cats certainly can become the focus of our anxieties …

  3. I’ve had sockets, surge protectors, and power strips catch fire. I’ve always been home. In the summer, electronics are unplugged before leaving or bed time because of storms. Only the fridge and freezer remain plugged in. Suspicious sockets are not used.

    I do not run dryer or washer while I’m gone. Most power strips are unplugged or turned off. I have two radiating heaters that run at low level that I leave on in the winter.

    Just very cautious. Mom was afraid of fire.

    The house needs to be rewired. SC laws are backwards.

    • I’m on the west coast and even though the standards are really strict here, an older house like the one I bought 20 years ago had flaky wiring. It was built in ’51 and was a light grade. I rewired the whole house myself because my biggest concern was that something could happen to my cats if it failed.

    • Anyone with a plastic dryer vent needs to replace it with a metal one. Our neighbor when I lived near Clemson lost their doublewide to a dryer fire. And keep the lint traps cleaned out after each load.


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