Pet owners around the world are being warned that their lively felines are also very effective firestarters, as a new safety review shows cats were responsible for more than 100 house fires in South Korea over the past three years.
Also concerning: According to the Humane Society of the United States, pets actually cause about 1,000 house fires in the United States each year.
The Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Department reported Thursday that they counted 107 residential cat arson incidents between January 2019 and November 2021, CNN reported.
Experts believe cats likely helped the fire spread by turning on the stove, as they recklessly lingered on the touch-sensitive buttons on the stove’s surface.Left on for too long, the appliances could overheat and catch fire, according to the department.
More than half of South Korea’s fires reportedly started when homeowners were away, but four people were injured by cat arson.
“Recent cat-related fires continue to occur,” Chung Gyo-chul, an official with the department, said in a statement.”We are advising families with pets to take extra precautions as fires can spread over large areas when no one is home.”
Meanwhile, while some of the 1,000 fires in the U.S. are caused by pets chewing on wires or curiously waving candles, the AHA is warning kitchen kitten owners to “cover or remove stove knobs and discourage climbing in the kitchen.”
The announcement goes on to say, “Accidental nudging of stove knobs is the number one cause of house fires for pets. By preventing your pet from interacting with the stove, you can take a big step toward preventing fires.”
Pet owners are also advised to remove all flammable items, such as paper towels and hand cloths, from around the stove.They also recommend safety measures such as childproof knobs, and heating with automatic shut-off and locking to prevent opening by the wayward claws of curious kittens – given the disturbing numbers of cats, we can only hope this is Accidentally charted on a psychosis scale.
In Seoul, the incidence of fire caused by pets is gradually increasing, and the proportion of pets in South Korea is also increasing, accounting for about 25% of the total population.The department noted that there were 31 such fires in the first nine months of 2019 — nearly four times the number in the same period in 2016, when there were only eight.
Meanwhile, 70 percent of U.S. households reportedly own a pet—some 90.5 million homes are also at risk from pet-related fires.According to the National Fire Protection Association, at least 750 household fires are started each year by household pets or wild animals.
But it is the pets themselves that often suffer the consequences.The American Veterinary Medical Association says about 500,000 Red Cross pets suffer from smoke inhalation each year, while 40,000 pets will die from home fires.
Post time: Jan-17-2022