Five Outdoor Lighting Safety Tips for Pet-Friendly Homes
There’s really nothing that can bring any home of any kind to life quite like superior quality outdoor lighting. From simple wall lanterns to architectural bollard lighting to feature lighting and so on, it’s the kind of small change that really does add up to an enormous difference. Not only this, but it’s been proven time and time again that the right exterior lighting can even have a positive impact on overall property values.
But at the same time, it’s also important to consider the health and safety aspect of installing both practical and decorative lighting outdoors. Along with taking into account the adults and children may be making use of the exterior living spaces, considering household pets is also important. The reason being that unlike adults and children, it can be difficult to train pets to stay away from things that could potentially be harmful to them.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of just a few outdoor lighting safety tips for pet-friendly homes, with the aim of keeping these equally important family members out of harm’s way:
1 – Cables to Chew
First of all, one of the most important things to bear in mind is whether or not there may be any exposed or accessible cables your pets may choose to chew on. In some instances, it is almost inevitable that there will have to be cables above the surface of the ground, meaning they should be positioned and ideally protected in a manner that keeps them inaccessible. If possible, it is worth considering running as many cables as possible underground, or to the maximum possible extent keeping them hidden. There are plenty of products that can be picked up these days to protect cables – just as there are different grades of cables that offer different levels of protection in their own right.
2 – Hot Surfaces
Depending on the kinds of outdoor lighting products you choose, there is always the possibility that they will create a hazard in the form of extremely hot surfaces. In this instance, it is once again a case of working to ensure that any excessively hot outdoor lighting devices are kept as far from it as possible, in order to minimise risks to pets. That being said, the very best way of eliminating this kind of risk altogether is to invest in the highest quality lighting products and bulbs, which emit little to no heat whatsoever. Not only are these kinds of lighting devices considerably less hazardous to pets and children alike, but they are also exponentially cheaper to run and will last considerably longer.
3 – Exposed Electrics
Something else to be mindful of is any kind of exposed electrics whatsoever. This includes everything from outdoor plug sockets to switches to timers to pretty much anything else electrical that’s in any way accessible to pets. Once again, there’s always the prospect that a dog or cat could decide to start gnawing away at these kinds of things, which for obvious reasons doesn’t bode well for anyone. And of course, there’s the slightly less likely though equally troubling prospect of the family dog lifting its leg over the wrong thing and getting the shock of its life! It might sound far-fetched, but it does happen – hence the importance of being proactive and cautious!
4 – Toxic Materials
It’s also worth remembering that the quality of the products and accessories you use to light your garden may have a marked impact on their overall safety in terms of toxicity. It is comparatively rare these days for reputable brands and businesses to use potentially toxic components and materials in the production of their products. Nevertheless, it is something that most certainly does still happen in some instances, which is why it is in the best interests of all concerned to consider carefully what you are buying, before you buy it.
5 – Fire Hazards
Last but not least, it is perhaps inevitable that from time to time, your outdoor lighting fixtures are going to be knocked, bashed and generally be destined for a bit of rough treatment. As such, it’s probably not a good idea to have any excessively hot lighting devices positioned in any locations where if they were to fall or be in any way compromised, they could potentially start a fire. For example, an overly-hot lighting fixture surrounded by dry wood chippings may not necessarily be the best way to go. It may sound pessimistic, but by working with the worst case scenario in mind, you minimise the likelihood of its occurrence.