Finally got one! After all these years of observing evidence of mice living inside electrical panels In South Jersey I have caught one in the act performing a home inspection. This time he did not hear me approaching. This time I was too quick for him. Off came the electrical panel cover and there he was frozen in fear while I snapped these pictures!
Mice in electrical panels can cause considerable damage and create a fire risk. From the homeowner's perspective this is a safety concern. From the perspective of a mouse the electrical panel is likely to be a warm dry home, safe from cats and other enemies. The mice will furnish the electrical panel with cozy bedding such as insulation and also stock pile groceries, often pet food or nuts. For entertainment the mice will chew on the electrical wiring.
How do the mice gain entry to the panel? The mice only need a very small opening about the size of a dime to squeeze inside the panel. The National Electrical Code requires that all opening in electrical panels be sealed. Unfortunately, electricians, homeowners and even inspectors often overlook this issue despite this requirement. As a result, I have found hundreds of electrical panels with unsealed openings, sometimes even in new construction that has passed its final electrical inspection.
What to do? Pass this information along to all of your family and friends. Most electrical panels can be examined for openings without touching the panel. If an opening is discovered, a qualified electrician should be engaged for repair.
We cannot allow these mice to squat in our electrical panels. Homeowners unite and view your panels for openings today!
Glen Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
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