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Electrician Tips: Make Your Home’s Electronics Safe for Pets

Most people immediately think about child proofing before a new baby or inviting relatives with children to visit. Electrical hazards are a significant concern when it comes to ‘baby proofing,’ but the danger to pets is frequently overlooked.

Pet owners or pet-sitters in Myrtle Beach, SC also have to ensure that a home is safe and potential electrical hazards are addressed. Pets are at risk from certain electrical hazards, whether your furry family includes a dog and cat or a ferret and a parakeet.

Electrical Cords

Cords for various devices on an entertainment center, including televisions, DVD players, cable boxes, and gaming systems, can create a mess of tangled wires. Cats, kittens, ferrets, and especially rabbits have an unfortunate tendency to chew on wires. Dogs may develop this habit too. This puts them at risk of electrocution or severe burns. Pets can also become tangled up in multiple cables and strangle themselves.

One approach to loose, tangled wires is securing them with ties or cables to hide them inside or behind a wall. This can create problems, especially if the solution ultimately becomes putting electrical devices in a closet or another room so the wiring can be organized and out of reach of pets.

You may need accessories such as an IR extender to control electronics in a different room or HDMI repeaters to increase the signal. An electrician can be of enormous help by installing the proper equipment and adapters so everything still works correctly. Professional help from one saves time too.

Pets sometimes fall or squeeze into areas behind stoves, refrigerators, and other appliances. They may partially dislodge the plug and suffer from burns or electric shock. Call an electrician if this happens because the appliance, outlet, or wiring may be damaged too.

Use High-Quality Products

Another important aspect of making your home’s electronics safe for pets is selecting appropriate electronic items. Do not automatically reach for the cheapest extension cords, outlet extenders, chargers, surge protectors, or other electronic accessories and equipment. You do not need the most expensive products either. Price and brand do not necessarily matter.

Look for high- quality products that are less likely to break or malfunction. Choose power or extension cords made of durable materials so it is not easy for a pet to chew through them quickly. Flimsy cords are also more likely to produce sparks or overheat.

Make sure that surge protectors actually prevent or reduce power surges. Some items labeled as surge protectors provide very minimal protection and really just add extra outlets. Your local electrician can recommend appropriate products for your home and may even have a supply on-hand.

Replaced Damaged Cords and Devices

Replacing damaged cords is essential for safety. Cords with damaged plugs or frayed areas, even if they are covered in electrical tape, should be replaced. The risk of a pet, or a person, experiencing a shock or a fire in the home greatly outweighs any benefit of repairing and using damaged cords.

This applies to other items too. Dispose of any plugs, surge protectors, and outlet extenders with melted or burned areas. There is no way to know if damaged items still function as they should. Call an electrician if you notice melting or soot around a wall outlet to make sure the wiring inside the wall is not damaged. An electrician can replace the outlet too.

Pet-Proof Products

Other options may make sense for your household as well. Flat cables with adhesive backing are becoming very popular. Adhesive speaker wires let you enjoy impressive sound while keeping wires safely tucked away under a carpet or floor boards. An electrician can provide advice or install cable organization systems if you have trouble finding a solution for your loose wires.

Some cords are designed to discourage pets from chewing on them. These cords often contain a bitter agent in the material making up the cords outer layer and they are often thicker than standard cords to provide extra protection. A variety of products meant to keep pets away from cords contain tastes and odors animals dislike. Some products are sprays and others have a consistency similar to ointment that lets you rub them onto cords or apply around electronics to keep pets away.

How to Help an Injured Pet

It is often a very traumatic experience when a beloved pet does experience electrocution or burns. The automatic reaction may be an immediate rush to gather up the injured animal and get him or her to the veterinarian. This is important. Immediate medical care is essential, but pet owners must use caution. Move any wires or electronic items away from the animal using a wooden object before touching the pet.

Always check for electrical burns in the mouth if you suspect a pet may have been chewing on a wire or received a shock. Sometimes burns appear on areas of the body that were not in direct contact with electricity, and damage to internal organs is always possible, so it is best to take your pet to a veterinarian even if you do not notice an obvious injury.

Sometimes pet owners discover a pet has suffered an electrical injury while no one was home, but the cause is not immediately obvious. You may want to call an electrician to evaluate the situation and find the problem or just to make sure everything is safe.

Be careful if an animal is tangled in electrical wires too. A cat, dog,

or other pet that is strangling or just stuck is very prone to panic. Pets may hurt someone without intending to or cause more harm to themselves simply because it’s a terrifying situation for the animal. If possible, have another adult help with disentangling the wires.

You can do many things to ‘pet-proof’ a home, but it never hurts to call a professional. It is advisable to contact an electrician if anything goes wrong. They have the experience and education to find and fix electrical problems safely. Call the talented electricians at Mister Sparky® of Myrtle Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC to enjoy peace of mind knowing a professional helped pet-proof your home.