Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Do I Do After a House Fire? | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

large flames and smoke coming out of roof of brown brick home If you have fire damage due to a heating malfunction or other issue, count on SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties to fully restore your home.

The unthinkable has happened - and you and your family have survived a fire. Maybe flames scorched your kitchen or perhaps your house burned completely.

However it happened, you may be feeling traumatized and at a loss for what to do next. Let’s talk about the steps to take after a fire to help you get back on your feet again.

  1. Get to Safety

After a fire, do not re-enter your home until your local fire services have given permission. Instead, find a place to stay. If you don’t have friends or relatives who can take you in, your local Red Cross or Salvation Army may be able to assist you.

  1. Make Contacts Promptly

After a fire, you have plenty of calls to make and emails to send. You’ll need to get the ball moving with insurance, as well as with restoration or rebuilding. Contacts to make include:

  1. Your insurance agent
  2. Your landlord or mortgager
  3. Your local fire department (for a copy of the fire report)
  4. Essential contractors, such as a cleaning and restoration professional
  5. Any accounts or agencies you need documentation reissued for (bank, driver’s license etc.)

Of course, you may not have all these email addresses or phone numbers at hand—they might have been in the fire!

To make your life easier, plan ahead by creating a disaster contact list and placing it in an online location, such as a Google drive. That way, you can get to it from any location that has internet.

Perform other documentation, too, such as taking photos and saving all receipts related to the fire.

  1. Keep Caring for Your People

Emotional and physical needs won’t disappear after a day or two. Fires can be traumatic for children and adults.

If needed, check with your doctor for any lingering problems—smoke inhalation can make some chronic illnesses worse, for instance. Have your veterinarian check your pet’s health, too. And take time to attend to your own mental health, such as by visiting a counselor or looking for online resources.

If you’re concerned about planning ahead for a fire or other disaster, consult with SERVPRO. We can help with disaster planning, as well as advise you about how best to file insurance claims.

From emergency cleaning and restoration to routine disinfection, we’re there for you. Contact us at any hour for a consultation or immediate assistance.

We Have Resources to Help With Fire Restoration l SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

man battling house fire If you have fire damage due to a heating malfunction or other issue, count on SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties to fully restore your home.

Did you know that house fires are more common during the winter months?

It’s true. There are various causes of winter fires, ranging from problems with space heaters to toppled candles.

Accidents involving Christmas trees are one of the leading causes of holiday fires. But issues with home heating systems and mishaps in the kitchen can cause problems for homeowners, too.

The Help You Need Is Right Here

While no one likes to think about the aftermath of a house fire, it’s a reality for millions of American families each year. We want to help you restore your home to its original condition if damaged by a fire.

Here’s why we are Clatsop & Columbia counties’ trusted partner for fire damage remediation and restoration:

Our team believes in restoration first. We have a team of local experts who want to ensure you get the help you need. With our pool of resources, we can help you save your repairs and homeowners insurance premiums. Our team’s experts want to make your restoration process as painless as we can for your family. We’ll make it like it never happened.

We’ll help with the entire restoration process. Fire damage goes beyond problems caused by the fire. It can include smoke damage, water damage and issues with odors in furniture upholstery. Our team can work through restoration on all of these and more.

We are members of your community. SERVPRO is a national company. But the owner of our location is a resident. We have access to the leading-edge resources, equipment and techniques available to a large national company, and we bring those things to your restoration project.

We’re available 247. Fires don’t happen on a predictable schedule. And getting started with the restoration process as soon as possible is a vital step in restoring your home. We know that timing matters during an emergency, so our team is available at any time when you need help.

If you have fire damage in your home due to a kitchen, heating or other fire, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

Does Your Business Have a Fire Extinguisher? | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

A few facts about fires: they’re decreasing in the U.S., but the dollar value of the damage they cause is going up. The most common fires, both in residential and business settings, are cooking-related.

Carelessness comes next as a cause (think about an employee carelessly scuffing out a cigarette and tossing it into a trashcan when the boss looks into the bathroom).

Fire Extinguisher Requirements

To put out small fires in a hurry, keep a fire extinguisher on site at your business. In fact, the National Fire Prevention Association code mandates having one. Fire extinguishers are required to be visible and accessible to the people who might need to use them.

Visible. Your fire extinguisher has to be in plain view. If it isn’t—for instance, if you keep it under the break room sink—you must place clear signs indicating where it is.

Accessible. Your fire extinguisher can’t be too near the floor or ceiling. Also, if you have a larger space, your extinguisher(s) must be within 75 feet “travel distance” from any spot in the building. This distance can be as little as 30 feet from specific hazards, such as gasoline.

Kinds of Fire Extinguisher

For most shops and offices, a Class A fire extinguisher is exactly right. If you have additional hazards, though, you may want a more robust fire extinguisher.

Class B can put out flammable liquids, such as gasoline. Class C also resists electrical conduction, meaning it is used in places where there’s a potential for electrical fires. Class D can put out flammable metals.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Sure, you’ve done it (haven’t you)? It’s never a bad time to take just two or three minutes for a fire extinguisher refresher.

  1. Pull the pin to break the seal.
  2. Point the nozzle (tube) at the base of the fire.
  3. Pull the handle.
  4. Swing back and forth until the fire is out.

It’s also a great idea to place a “how to use” diagram near your business fire extinguisher, just in case.

From fire to storm to flood, disaster can strike a business at any time. To discuss a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, contact us at any hour for assistance.

Fire Safety: Electrical Focus | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

The holiday season is coming fast, and with it the temptation to string as many colored lights as possible inside and out. Before you start plugging everything in, do a quick review of your home’s electrical safety situation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, “electrical distribution or lighting equipment” accounts for about 34,000 home fires every year. These hazards include cords, lighting, plugs and wiring.

From the point at which electricity enters your home to endpoint devices, we’ll look at the most common sources of danger:

Human Error

From using devices in an unsafe manner to allowing curtains to droop against heating elements, human carelessness contributes to many home electrical fires. The best remedy is caution. Always read appliance directions and follow them.

Never leave devices such as space heaters unattended. Make sure electrical devices and appliances have plenty of space around them. Treat electrical devices with a healthy respect in every situation.

Electrical Failure or Malfunction

After human error, electrical “failure or malfunction” makes the second leading cause of deaths from house fires. Many fires involve arcing, where a spark jumps from one conductor to another. Damaged wires and loose connections—in your house wiring or in appliances—can lead to arcing. So can faults in junction and control boxes.

Professional Advice. If your house has older wiring, it might be time for a visit from an electrician. He or she can look for any wiring that needs to be updated. Your electrician can also install arc-fault circuit interrupters to cut off power when dangerous arcing conditions occur.

Sharp-Eyed Solutions. For your part, you can check devices and appliances from small holiday lights through washers and dryers. Look for any exposed wires, loose cords or frayed coverings of cords/wires. Discard damaged devices or have them professionally repaired.

Distribution

Distribution problems also contribute to house fires. Connecting more than one appliance to a socket spells trouble. Similarly, extension cords should only be used occasionally, not incorporated as part of your day-to-day wiring solution.

Too many appliances connected to one outlet or circuit can lead to fires. Make sure you place no more demand on any one circuit or outlet than it can support.

From fire to storm to flood, disaster can strike a business at any time. To discuss a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, contact us at any hour for assistance.

How Do I Get The Smoke Smell Out Of My Home?

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Wildfire Smoke belongs by the campfire not in your home!

As the rain clears the smoke and the fires are contained some people might still find the smell of smoke lingering in their homes.

This week on our SERVPRO blog feed we are going to provide you with some quick tips on how to get the smell of smoke out of your house. 

Things You'll Need

· Baking Soda

· Vinegar and Water Solution

· Heavy duty washing detergent

Instructions:

  1. Throw open the windows and even a door or two. The less time the smoke sits around the greater chance of getting rid of it quickly. Even if it is in the middle of winter, airing your house right away will disperse the smoke and prevent any more absorption. If the weather is nice, you might want to keep the windows open for a few days, at least during the daylight hours.
  2. Launder your drapes and table linens as soon as possible; they will absorb the smoke odor rapidly. Wash them in the hottest water that the fabric can endure and heavy duty washing detergent. If the fabrics cannot be washed at home, take them to a dry cleaner, which will have solutions that will make the fabric smoke-free.
  3. Clean your cabinets, walls, and floors with a one-part vinegar, one part warm water solution. Be sure to test this first but most surfaces are fine with this solution. Vinegar naturally absorbs odors so the smell of vinegar and smoke should go away in a few hours after using it.
  4. Place bowls of baking soda around your kitchen, and even put a few inside the cabinets, pantry, and any other room that has an odor.  This too will help to absorb the odor in a few days time. Sprinkle the rugs and carpeting with baking soda and vacuum. Sprinkle the baking soda again and this time let sit for a few days time before vacuuming.

If the house still smells of smoke or if you don’t want to do the work in the first place, just call us here at SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties and we’ll get it right out.

(503) 791-6714

How to Make Sure You Are As Prepared as Possible for a House Fire | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Image of house and roof engulfed in flames An emergency can happen at anytime. Make sure you and your family have a plan.

When you think of a house fire, you are likely to think of news coverage you have seen or
families you have known that have experienced one, but have you considered what you would
do if one happened in your home?


Even small house fires can cause major damage, and because of how rapidly they spread,
making sure you are as prepared as possible before one starts is so important. By knowing
what to do when a fire starts and how to begin the recovery process, you can keep your family
much safer in the event that a house fire does occur.


Preparing Your Household for a House Fire


Designate 2 Exits From Every Room
If your house is multiple stories or has rooms with only one entrance, it is important that you do what you can to give every room two routes of escape in case of a fire. When a fire blocks one
exit, it is important that someone in the room is able to utilize the other. This can be done by
installing emergency ladders in upstairs rooms and making sure that windows open in every
room of the home so your family can get out safely.


Create and Execute an Escape Plan
It is important to not only plan for a fire evacuation, but also to be able to execute it in under two minutes to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation. Plan for everyone in your evacuation plan, including children, elderly family members and pets, to make sure no one is left behind. Once you have a plan drafted, be sure to run drills of it at least every few months so that everyone in the household knows exactly what to do should the smoke alarms sound.

Have a Plan in Place for the Aftermath
Once you escape the home, you should call 911 immediately to get the fire department on their
way to help extinguish the flames. Even if the flames are put out quickly, dangerous smoke and
soot buildup can be present, so it is important to have a plan for restoration as well. If your home has been damaged by a fire, you can count on us for all your restoration needs.

We are here 24/7 to come to your aid after a house fire. Call us anytime to report damage or
learn more.