If you have an infestation of rodents in your home, such as mice or rats, you may have a bigger problem than you realize.
Rodents can damage electrical systems and wiring, increasing the risk of fire. According to Best Life, up to 25% of house fires of an indeterminate cause may actually be the work of small animals like mice. Here are some specific ways that these pests can contribute to electrical fires in your home.
Nesting in electrical panels
Rodents may make a nest in your electrical panel because they prefer tight, protected spaces. A short circuit may occur due to the disruption, and a spark may cause the nesting materials to ignite.
Gnawing on wires
A mice’s teeth never stop growing throughout its entire life. Therefore, it has to constantly find surfaces on which to gnaw to grind down its teeth so they do not grow through its lower lip. The metal in the electrical wiring of your home provides a hard and easily accessible material on which mice can do their obligatory gnawing.
Eating the wires’ insulation
To prevent the electrical wires in your home from sparking fires, they utilize a coating made of non-conductive material for insulation. Increasingly, the insulation consists of plant-based plastic made from soy. While this is better for the environment, it also provides food for mice. Once they have chewed off all the insulation, the wire is bare, increasing the fire danger.
If you find evidence of rodents in your home, have them removed immediately. You should then have an inspection to check for any damage that could pose a risk of fire.