According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 25% of fires attributed to “unknown causes” are caused by rodents chewing electrical wires and gas lines.
Buying a commercial property is a huge undertaking and performing due diligence is critical. When buying a standalone building or a multi-unit property, be sure to have your inspector check for rodent activity. If you skip this step you might be setting yourself up for a disastrous fire down the line. Rat and mice teeth grow constantly, meaning they have to chew virtually nonstop. They gnaw metal wires and gas lines to prevent their teeth from overgrowing and suddenly you’ve got a fire on your hands.
Areas to check for rodent activity
Crawl spaces. Dirt crawlspaces in particular are vulnerable since rodents can tunnel under the skirting.
Attics are a classic spot for rat and mouse nests. Look for rub marks along walls and around entry holes.
Distinguishing between an old rodent problem from years past and a fresh infestation can be tricky. Droppings dry very quickly, so something a few days old looks similar to something a few years old. The best method is by scent (do you smell fresh urine?) and chew marks (do you see newly exposed wood or old, weathered wood?).
If you find evidence of an infestation the next step is figuring out how they got in. Look for weak points…
– Roof lines for dormers and other vulnerable joints
– Doors not closing all the way
– Entry points along supply lines
Pick the right insurance carrier
A fire in an uninsured building is devastating for almost any business owner. Every carrier is different when it comes to fire claims—that’s why it’s important to know your insurance policy inside and out. In fact it is one reason Parker Eco Pest Control has stuck with the same Seattle business insurance broker for years (shout out to Heather Hanson at Northwest Insurance Group!). We highly recommend having a relationship with a broker who understands your business model and can pull together coverage options, financing arrangements, and answer questions at the drop of a hat.