Being aware of the potential fire risk of rodents
There are many potential causes of fire both at home and in public and commercial buildings, but damage caused by mice or rats may not be the first thing to come to mind.
Rodents chewing or gnawing on wiring and electrical components can result in damage that can cause devastating fires which may well not be covered by your insurance policy.
Mice and rats will gnaw plastic insulation from cables leaving wires exposed. Sparks from exposed wires can start a fire, especially in the loft where cabling is often surrounded by insulation material as well as plenty of wood.
If you think you may have rats or mice? These are the things to look out for:
- Strange scurrying noises in walls, floorboards or above you in the loft.
- Any sign of damage to paper or books, food containers, furniture, or clothing.
- Keep a look out for droppings, for mice these will look like grains of rice, but be dark in colour.
- Be aware of any unpleasant smells, mouse and rat urine has a strong aroma, so be sure to investigate any unexpected smells.
Action to take:
- If you think you have a rat or mouse infestation in your home or business premises, you should act quickly before any serious damage is done. Rodents breed quickly so a small population can become a large population very quickly. The more there are the more likely they are to do significant damage.
- A cat can be an effective pest control solution at home, and there are other steps that you can take yourself.
- Try to work out where the mice or rats are getting in and block the access.
- Reduce access to food. Makes sure all foodstuffs are stored in rodent proof containers – for example store breakfast cereals in plastic or metal containers instead of cardboard boxes. Keep the kitchen clean and tidy, be sure to keep work surfaces free from crumbs and spills and store all food in higher cupboards to make it harder to access.
- Keep outdoor rubbish bins away from the house if possible and ensure that lids are always kept closed.
There are various products available that you can use yourself to try to reduce a mouse population including traps and poison. But if you are unable to get things under control quickly, or you believe rats are present we’d recommend calling in a pest control expert.
For commercial premises, especially those in the hospitality industry you will have other concerns to consider so it may be necessary to have an ongoing programme of rodent control. But you should call in the professionals at the first sign of rodents being present.
It is simply not worth risking the safety of your family and home or your business premises. Be aware and act quickly of you see signs of a rodent infestation. If you have any concerns about electrical safety please get in touch, we’d be happy to help.