If you have a pet, you know how special they can be and how they enrich our lives. Whether you own a big, fluffy cat or a tiny, rambunctious dog, companion animals can provide health benefits (i.e. less stress), hours of entertainment and, of course, companionship and unconditional love. It’s always been important to take good care of your pet and keep him/her safe, and that’s especially true in this day and age due to the popularity of paper shredders.
Paper shredders have become popular in recent years due to the increasing prevalence of identity theft. Every year, millions of people have their credit – and lives – ruined when a thief makes of with their Social Security numbers, bank account information, and even their very names. Shredding all of one’s unwanted documents (canceled checks, junk mail, etc.) can greatly reduce the risk of identity theft. However, shredders can also be very dangerous due to their sharp blades. The problem is further compounded by these machines’ often automatic operation. Needless to say, your pets can be at risk if you have a paper shredder in your house. Here’s a few tips on how to keep your pets safe.
- Have your critters vacate the room. First and foremost, don’t use your shredder if your little furball is in the room with you. As everyone knows, animals are very curious beings (especially cats). Your companion might be interested in the noise the machine makes or the sight of the paper entering the device and thus, will check things out. This can lead to disaster if the animal is especially inquisitive, but if he/she is out of the room when you shred, you’ve just eliminated the chance of them being hurt. Don’t make the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat” a reality!
- Unplug the shredder. Also, don’t leave the machine plugged in when you’re not using it. Doing so will not only prevent your pet’s paws, nose, and tail from being munched up by the machine’s blades, he/she won’t be able to chew on a live electrical cord either. This will prevent them from being electrocuted. (And it will prevent you from needing to replace your shredder due to a ruined cord.) At the very least, make sure you turn the device off when you’re done with it and don’t leave it in “automatic” mode.
- Look for a device with adequate safety features. More and more paper shredder manufacturers have become aware of the dangers their machine can pose. Thus, some of them have started equipping their products with great safety features that will keep everyone in your home safe. One such company is Fellowes. Many of their devices have SafeSense technology that causes operation to cease when body parts get too close to the feed opening. This can be a great feature to have if you happen to share your home with animals.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to keep your furry friends safe while also protecting yourself from identity theft. That way, you and your pets will be able to enjoy a long – and secure – life together.