How to Keep Your Fireplace Safe for Your Pets

| CJ Silvasi

Grab a cup of cocoa, your favorite book, and your furry best friend for cuddles in front of your fireplace. Learn these essential safety tips for fireplaces and pets


One of the best ways to pass a chilly winter day is curled up in front of the fireplace, but if you have pets, there are safety measures you’ll need to take before lighting a match. 

Just like you, many pets will want to enjoy the warmth of the fire too, but they don’t understand the dangers it poses. So, here are some tips to keep your home and pet safe while enjoying your fireplace this winter. 

Invest in a Fireplace Screen

Use a fireplace screen to block access to the open flames without impeding the view of the fire or the heat releasing from the fireplace. It’s the perfect way to keep pets from getting too close to the flames. Many are designed to provide distance from the fireplace, but they can still get hot, so even with the screen, be sure to monitor your pet near the fireplace. 

Train Your Pets to Stay Away

Just like anything in life, if you want your pet to learn something, you’ll have to train them, and fireplace safety is no different. If your pet is particularly curious, introduce them to the space and set clear boundaries with a verbal command and a reward when they obey. With practice and repetition, your pet will learn that they are not allowed to get too close to the fireplace.

Keep the Space in Front of the Fireplace Clear

Pet beds and some toys can be very flammable, so keep them a good distance away from the fireplace. To avoid confusion and temptation, it is important to keep this area clear year-round, even when the fireplace is not in use. That way, when you are ready to light a fire, your pet is used to their belongings being kept elsewhere.

No Roughhousing Near the Fireplace

Keep a house rule that play is not allowed near the fireplace. Not only will this prevent a toy from accidentally being thrown into the fire, but it also protects your pet from inadvertently getting too close to the fire in a moment of excitement. If possible, don’t allow play in the room with the fireplace at all, but if not, make sure there is adult supervision during play.

Supervise Pets When a Fire Is Lit

Don’t leave a pet alone with a fireplace, especially if the fire is lit. Even if you’ve trained them to stay away from the fireplace, tragedy can occur in a second if you turn away or leave the room. Always make sure a human is present if pets are in a room with a fireplace.

Douse Flames Before Leaving

If you are leaving the room or home, make sure all embers are out. Even if the flames are gone, it is important to ensure that nothing remaining is burning, and embers can be sneaky. Safely douse the fire, and never leave it unattended. This advice is good fire-safety practice whether you have pets or not, so be sure the fire is fully out when you are ready to leave or go to bed.

This winter, enjoy a cozy, safe snuggle with your furry friends in front of the fire. If you train your pets to be safe around the fireplace, you can both relax and enjoy the warm glow.

The fireplace isn't the only thing you need to keep an eye on. Get pet insurance coverage through AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) and prepare for unexpected accidents and injuries all year long.

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CJ Silvasi

CJ has always wanted to be a writer. She even threatened to drop out after her first day of kindergarten when they weren’t immediately going to teach her to read and write. Fortunately, she stayed in school, earned her degree in Creative Writing from Christopher Newport University, and now gets to live her best life with her husband, 3 Japanese Chins, and cat writing for AKC Pet Insurance.


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