A beloved pet dressed in a Halloween costume, posed next to a lit jack-o-lantern, sounds like a great photo opportunity—but it’s also a fire hazard.
Pets and other animals inadvertently set about 510 house fires every year in this country. From 2006 to 2010, such fires caused an average of $8.7 million in property damage and injured eight humans a year, said John R. Hall Jr., division director for fire analysis and research for the National Fire Protection Association.
Animals—including wild ones or pests like rats or insects—are capable of starting a fire any time, but the majority involve a heat source, like a stove, light fixture, candle, embers, or a space heater, Hall said. And over colder holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s often more activity around those sources than usual.