Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cats and candles: How to keep your home safe from fire

Cats getting too close to candles can lead to a fire

I use many candles to decorate the house around the holidays. I love filling the house with warm and shimmering light. And while my cats are not allowed on counter tops or the tops of dining room tables, they are allowed to climb upon coffee tables and windowsills.

Often, this means they're sharing space with candles. And that means trouble.

When I first started living with cats, I thought they would avoid fire. All of my dogs give lit candles and open fireplaces a wide berth. But my cats all seem fascinated by fire. Eamon will go so far as to dip his paw in a candle, catch his hair on fire and shake his paw to put the fire out. He has also jumped up on a table and caught his belly on fire with a lit candle (he rolled on the carpet and put himself out).

Because of Eamon, we no longer keep lit candles on our coffee tables and windowsills. We place these items on our mantle, where he cannot reach them. On occasion, I will place a candle in a hurricane lamp on the table, but only if I am right next to the candle itself and can keep curious cats away.

What do you to to protect your home from cat fire? That's a question you should be asking yourself, right now.