How to prevent your pets from starting fires

YAKIMA, Wash. - While pets can be a big source of happiness in your life, sometimes they can get into things they're not supposed to, like knocking a space heater over and starting a fire. 

The West Valley Fire Department shared a few tips on Facebook today to help prevent your furry friends from starting fires. 

The first tips is to keep pets, especially cats, away from countertops and stoves. They could potentially bump into something and cause the stove to turn on. You should also always keep your pets away from lit candles, fireplaces, space heaters and anything else that could fall over and cause a fire. 

To protect your pets from fireplaces, another tip the department shared is covering it with metal or heat-tempered glass. You should also have a pet-free zone least three feet away from your fireplace. Glass doors and screens can stay hot several hours after the fire is out.

If your pet likes to chew on things, make sure they stay away from electrical cords.

When making fire plans, make sure you include your pets in those plans. If your pet does get stuck inside, the department suggests not going back in but instead notifying firefighters your pet is still inside.

Other more general fire safety tips include checking your smoke alarms to make sure they are in working condition at least once a month.