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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Home Safety: Rodent are a fire hazard too

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

We are pleased to share an article written by Greg Geilman, President and CEO of South Bay Residential.

Home Safety: Rodents are a Fire Hazard, Too

Rodents may be labeled as pests, but they actually have the power to be more destructive than some may believe. They chew up wires, create the perfect kindling in the form of their nests, and can be the root cause of a truly terrible fire. The worst part is that homeowners may not realize just how much damage they're causing to the home until it's too late. Learn more about the habits of rodents and why they're not a threat to be taken lightly. 

Gnawing Feeling

A rodent is going to chew on whatever happens to be around them when their teeth are coming in. If they don't chew then their teeth will actually get too long and they won't be able to eat. And because their teeth are always coming in, they tend to chew on a lot of things. A squirrel, mouse, or rat will even gnaw on hard elements of the home, such as metal pipes. So when a homeowner starts to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet, they need to be aware that those feet are attached to some very active teeth. 

An Electrical Disaster 

When a rat cuts through the plastic insulation that protects the electrical wiring, it exposes nearby objects to the heat of the electricity. Fires aren't just destructive because of the evident flame damage, but also because of the smoke damage. The smell of smoke is notoriously difficult to remove, which means that even a fire that's put out quickly may cause more damage than homeowners realize — damage that may not be covered by a home insurance policy. 

The Nature of the Fire 

The fire is caused when the wire shorts out or when the heat of the electricity causes some else to catch flame. Insulation, nests, or other types of trash inside the walls of the home are the most common culprits behind the origin story of the fire, but there are times when a wire can spark close to a wooden beam and cause the whole home to catch flame. Experts believe that up a quarter of all fires with undetermined causes may have actually been due to a rodent infestation. 

Attention and Prevention 

While there are plenty of traps and repellents to be found at the store, consulting an expert is usually the best way to go in the case of rodent prevention or elimination. An owner certainly can go through their home to determine where the holes are so they can seal them up, but the chances they'll miss at least a few of the openings are rather high. And of course, homeowners should have plenty of smoke detectors to get the warning they need to exit the home in time. 

Rodents may be small, but they can wreak some major havoc on the lives of property owners. To keep them out of the house, call a pro to either exterminate the pests or to prevent them from entering the home entirely. 

Greg Geilman is a Los Angeles native of over 40 years and owner of South Bay Residential. Greg believes knowledge is power when it comes to staying safe at home, and that the "little" issues can snowball over time if left unchecked.

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