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Pets, pests caused scores of accidents, 7 injuries in Japan over 5 years

In this file photo, a cat rests on an air conditioning unit in a shopping district near Kawachi-Eiwa Station in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, on July 20, 2017. (Mainichi)

Pets, small animals and pests caused 78 product-related accidents over the five-year period up to fiscal 2016, leaving seven people with injuries ranging from minor to serious, the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) announced on Aug. 24.

The most predominant cases were fires apparently caused by cats, dogs or other pets turning on gas stoves that can be lit with the press of a button. According to the NITE, there were nine such accidents with cooking equipment over the five-year period.

The other reported causes of accidents included cats urinating on electrical appliances, dogs chewing on batteries, mice nibbling away at refrigerator cords, birds building their nests over stove ventilation systems and cockroaches scrambling inside air conditioning units.

The NITE suggests turning off the gas and unplugging all electronic appliances whenever going out, and regularly checking appliances where pests may be hiding, among other countermeasures.

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