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IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
March 8, 2011

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The Video Surveillance Report 2022

Squirrels to blame for serious house fires

Electric cables chewed through by squirrels are a common cause of house fires and causing thousands of pounds in damage.

This is according to a Surrey pest control company that says it is gearing up for its annual “surge” in calls to deal with squirrel problems as March sees the furry creatures starting nests in lofts across the country.

Cleankill Pest Control said that rather than being “cute and cuddly,” squirrels nesting in lofts cause more problems than rats. It cited a case last year in which a £400,000 bungalow in Hertfordshire was destroyed after squirrels chewed through wires, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Paul Bates, managing director of Cleankill, said: “People think that squirrels are cute and cuddly but they actually cause more problems than rats. Squirrels are very determined creatures and once they enter your loft it is very difficult to get them out and keep them out. Rats, on the other hand, tend to enter lofts by accident and don’t normally try to find their way in again.”

The rodents have also been blamed for weakening roof joists after persistent gnawing.

“Like rats, squirrels have ever-growing incisor teeth and the best place for them to gnaw when they are in your loft is the roof timbers. It is quite common for a pest controller to climb into a loft to find the joists he is treading on are bouncing ominously because squirrels have chewed a hole in them,” the company said.

Thoroughly blocking up any likely holes and gaps will help prevent squirrels from entering the building, it advised.

Do you have any experience of fires caused by or contributed to by squirrels or other rodents? If so, email us here. 

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