Recent Fire Damage Posts

October is Fire Prevention Month

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged bedroom Smoke detectors save lives - Talk to your loved ones about the importance and have an escape plan.

Fire Prevention week is the perfect time to educate and talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher and escape route planning.

    • Three out of Five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
    • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
    • More than one-third(37%) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present
    • The risk of dying in a house fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
    • Install smoke alarms at every level of the home along with every bedroom.
    • Be sure to test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
    • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.  If an alarm "chirps", the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
    • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years with brand new smoke alarms.

Why Hire SERVPRO to Deodorize After a Fire?

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged home entry Please call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. 24/7 365 days a year! (360) 254-0049

After a fire, your house is left with lingering smoke that can cause health effects and affect your property. The best thing to do in such a situation is to clean smoke immediately because if you ignore it, the smoke will cause massive damage on your property which will require more money to clean than if you had cleaned it soon enough. If the smoke is not cleaned as soon as possible, the items that will be mostly affected by smoke are drapes, carpets, upholstery and walls because they will become permanently discolored. Glass will become extremely etched, and metals will tarnish which will require replacement.

You might think that you can do a good job at cleaning smoke by yourself without any basic knowledge and skills on how to go about it but this can lead to you causing further damage on the items. The best thing to do will be to hire experienced SERVPRO professionals to do the cleaning and restore the home to the state it was in before the fire disaster struck.

One of the advantages of using SERVPRO experts to clean soot is that we have specialized tools which are crucial in eliminating smoke. These are tools such as extractors, rotary scrubbers, and wet cleaning tools. Another advantage is that we have a lot of experience in doing such work; therefore, we will know the right steps to take in cleaning your home and preventing further damage on your property.

Indeed, bringing in a SERVPRO professional on site will save you a lot of headaches and ensure that you get rid of smoke and fire damage efficiently. 

Wildfire Tips Around Your Home

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

smoke damaged hallway SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049

Keeping your home safe during the wildfire season.

  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your house, deck or porch. 
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground. 
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Don't let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for for fire.
  • Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. 
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no longer than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  • Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.

Remember to give us a call if your home or business is smoke or soot damaged after a wildfire.

Smoke Odor Removal

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

wall heater fire damaged wall Don't tackle smoke odors alone, let SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/ Clark Co. help make it "Like it never even happened."

A lot can go wrong if a fire starts in your home. At the very least, you will deal with inconvenience and hassle. No matter how large or small the fire may be, you’ll probably encounter the need for smoke cleaning. The nasty odor smoke leaves behind can overwhelm anyone and make it difficult to remain in your house. Fortunately, there are some effective methods the professionals use that can help get rid of this nuisance.

Whom Should You Call?

Cleaning up after smoke damage isn’t an ordeal you should tackle alone. There are some outstanding professional cleanup companies that boast the expertise to get your home back in shape. Here are some reasons why trained professionals are your best source of help:

  • They have years of experience cleaning up after residential fires.
  • They have the right equipment and techniques to thoroughly remove traces of smoke.
  • They work quickly and efficiently.
  • They have excellent customer service.

Air Filtration Devices

One of the most common ways a professional will help restore your home and rid it of smoke odor is by using air filtration devices. An experienced company will use heavy-duty equipment to remove toxins and other harmful materials from the air in your home. This will give you peace of mind that you can once again breathe clean air and not worry about illness or other health effects.

Ozone Machines

In small doses, ozone is effective in removing the particles in smoke that cause odor. Only a professional should administer this form of smoke cleaning, as it can be toxic in large amounts. Ozone breaks down the bacteria and other materials so they will no longer smell.

Thermal Foggers

Another way to eliminate unappealing smoke odor is through a thermal fogger. This method is best used in conjunction with other steps such as the use of baking soda. The fogger takes in a deodorizing solution and then blows it out into the affected area.

When you need deep smoke cleaning, get in touch with the pros. A reliable technician will use these steps to help remove terrible odors from your house.

Grill Safely Vancouver

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Grill fire damage exterior of home We hope you never experience any degree of fire damage to your home, but if you do, you can call us day or night!

Friends, family and members of our Vancouver community enjoy a good barbecue, and frankly, what’s not to love? Besides the traditional hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs and steak, veggies, fruits, and even pizza have found their way to flame cooking. By following some simple tips, you can stay safe and avoid the inconvenience of a grill fire.

Tips for Safe Charcoal Grilling

A bbq fire that gets out of control could cause damage to a home by engulfing flammable materials near the grill. In that case, there are professionals who stand ready to help with the remediation of bbq smoke damage to your home. However, grilling with charcoal or propane gas without drama is easy to do if you heed the following safety tips.

• All grills must be used only outdoors and be constantly attended.

• Place the grill away from the house, railings, or overhanging vegetation or structures.

• Keep children and pets away from hot grills.

• Grills must be kept clean; remove all fats and grease to avoid a grill fire.

• Neither charcoal lighter fluid nor matches should be kept near a grill in use.

• Wait until coals have completely cooled before disposing of them in a metal container.

Tips for Safe Gas Grilling

Inspecting the tank, hoses, connections and the grill itself for leaks should be routine. To check any of these areas for leaks, before grilling apply a light solution of soap and water to connections and check for bubbles. If bubbles are seen, tighten connections and recheck. If the bubbling persists, have the grill serviced by a professional. If a leak is detected while grilling, turn off the tank and burners. If the smell of gas persists, call the fire department without delay.

Cooking outdoors for friends and family is a special treat. Eliminating the risk of a grill fire will make your next barbecue safe and enjoyable. For more information, visit https://www.SERVPROevancouverclarkco.com or call (360) 254-0049

How to Avoid the Leading Cause of Residential Fires

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Small kitchen fire smoke damage in residence If your residence or business has endured a fire damage, call a trusted professional like SERVPRO (360) 254-0049

Cooking fires are the leading cause home fires and fire-related injuries in the US. Fire Departments respond to an estimated 156,600 home structure fires every year and 2 out of 5 cooking related.

More that $853 Million in property damages each year are fires as a result of cooking.

Thousand of cooking related fire injuries are reported every year. SERVPRO offers you these safety tips to ensure your safety and your homes safety.

  1. Don't ever wear loose clothing while cooking
  2. Never leave cooking food unattended
  3. Check food regularly and never leave the house
  4. Keep children away from the cooking area
  5. Keep any flammables far away from the cooking area
  6. Clean cooking area often to prevent grease buildup
  7. Purchase a Fire extinguisher and be properly trained
  8. Always check the kitchen before going to bed
  9. Make sure smoke alarms are installed on each level of the home and outside all sleeping areas

Top Winter Fire Hazards

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

"house fires occur most often in winter" fire, residential doors For information on fire damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County at (360) 254-0049

To experience a house fire is traumatic. Within minutes, the home can be engulfed in flames. According to the American Red Cross, “Home fires can happen at any time, but they generally increase during the fall and winter, with December and January being the peak months. Home fires are also more common on Saturday and Sunday and tend to peak between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM. 

Here are the top residential fire hazards.

  1. Cooking Fires

More house fires start in the kitchen than any other room in the house. Grease fires are a leading cause of kitchen fires. To prevent a cooking fire, never leave the kitchen unattended while food is cooking on the stove.

  1. Heating Equipment Fires

To prevent this winter fire hazard, keep combustibles at least three feet away from the heat source. Combustibles include furniture, curtains, and pets. Have the chimney and wood stove inspected and cleaned annually.

Over time, dust can build up in a space heater and create a fire hazard. Annually cleaning the heater is strongly advised. Do not use an extension cord with a space heater, and do not plug the heater into an overloaded circuit.

  1. Candle Fires

Candles are one of the most common causes of house fires during the winter months. The month of December is the peak time for candle fires in the home. Consider using electric or solar candles. Extinguish candles when they are not in use or if they are left unattended.

  1. Electrical Fires

Avoid overloading circuits or receptacles. Carefully inspect extension cords before usage since a frayed or damaged cord could cause a fire or result in electrocution and death. The few extra dollars spent on a properly rated heavy-duty extension cord could save thousands in fire damage or hospital bills.

  1. Fireworks

According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.”

Nevertheless, fireworks are popular. Following the manufacturer’s directions, including adult supervision, is strongly recommended.

  1. Grills and fire pits

Position the grill or fire pit at least ten feet away from any structure. A clean grill is a safe grill. Never leave a grill or fire pit unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of sand nearby in case the fire gets out of control.

Finally, have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of the house and inspect them regularly. Install ten-year, long-life batteries in the detection units. Locate fully charged and working fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage, and near the Christmas tree. Have an evacuation plan in place so that, in the stressful environment of a fire, everyone knows what to do and where to go.

October Is National Fire Prevention Month

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

"october is fire prevention month"  black with flames SERVPRO Fire damage can strike at any time; are you prepared?

Home Safety Checklist

Smoke Alarms

There is one smoke alarm on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.

Smoke alarms are tested and cleaned monthly.

Smoke alarm batteries are changed as needed. 

Smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.

Cooking Safety

Cooking area is free from items that can catch fire.

Kitchen stove hood is clean and vented to the outside.

Pots are not left unattended on the stove.

Electrical & Appliance Safety

Electrical cords do not run under rugs.

Electrical cords are not frayed or cracked.

Circuit-protected, multi-prong adapters are used for additional outlets.

Large and small appliances are plugged directly into wall outlets.

Clothes dryer lint filter and venting system are clean.

Candle Safety

Candles are in sturdy fire-proof containers that won’t be tipped over.

All candles are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the room.

Children and pets are never left unattended with candles.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarms are located on each level of the home.

Carbon monoxide alarms are less than 7 years old.

Smoking Safety

Family members who smoke only buy fire-safe cigarettes and smoke outside.

Matches and lighters are secured out of children’s sight.

Ashtrays are large, deep and kept away from items that can catch fire.

Ashtrays are emptied into a container that will not burn.

Heating Safety

Chimney and furnace are cleaned and inspected yearly.

Furniture and other items that can catch fire are at least 3 feet from fireplaces, wall heaters,   baseboards, and space heaters.

Fireplace and barbecue ashes are placed outdoors in a covered metal container at least 3 feet from   anything that can catch fire.

Extension cords are never used with space heaters.

Heaters are approved by a national testing laboratory and have tip-over shut-off function.

Home Escape Plan

Have two ways out of each room.

Know to crawl low to the floor when escaping to avoid toxic smoke.

Know that once you’re out, stay out. 

Know where to meet after the escape.

Meeting place should be near the front of your home, so firefighters know you are out.

Practice your fire escape plan.

Residential Fire Statistics

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged apartment; bedroom and hallway If you do experience damages from a house fire, please don’t hesitate SERVPRO® of Vancouver/Clark County for cleaning and restoration services.

In life, especially during your youth, there are many different reasons you might hear the phrase, “Don’t become a statistic.” Often, that advice is trying to deter you from getting in trouble; warning against drinking, drugs, or other illicit activities. In life there are other dangers for which everyone should avoid becoming a statistic - one of the scariest being fires.

The following is a list of various home fire statistics (published in 2017) for you to consider.

  • Between 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires with an annual average of
    • 2,510 civilian fire deaths
    • 12,300 civilian fire injuries
    • $6.7 billion in direct damage
  • The leading causes of home structure fires are
    • Intentional
    • Electrical distribution and lighting equipment
    • Heating equipment
    • Cooking equipment
    • Smoking materials
  • The leading origins of these fires are
    • Kitchen or cooking area
    • Bedroom
    • Confined chimney or flue fire
    • Living room, family room or den
  • People between the ages of 25-64 have a greater risk of death or injury in a house structure fire
  • 93% of structure fire deaths and 80% of all fire deaths are due to home structure fires.
  • Property use plays a factor in the amount of fires that occur as well. For example
    • One- or two-family home, (including manufactured home) amount to 249,500 - or 70% -  of home structure fires
    • Apartment or other multifamily housing amount to 109,000 - the other 30% - of home structure fires.
  • In America, an average of seven people die in fires per day.
  • Home fire deaths peak in the cooler months.

This list is a highly condensed version of the lists out there, provided by groups like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), to keep you and those you love aware of the causes and effects of house fires. The most important thing to take away from the information included here is that no matter your age, the size of your household, etc. your home is at risk. Take precautions, make a plan, and trust your local rescue teams.

Don’t become a statistic.

Information retrieved from: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Building-and-life-safety/osHomes.ashx

Contact:
SERVPRO® of Vancouver/Clark County (360) 254-0049

Fire Damage Restoration Process

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged interior of residence Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today (360) 254-0049

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County  has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County (360) 254-0049, we available 24 hours a day. Our specialist will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch with the appropriate equipment and resources.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The SERVPRO uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

What to Expect After a Fire

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damaged bedroom About 35% of residential insurance claims are from fire. Call a leader in the fire restoration industry (360) 254-0049

Fire and smoke damage is destructive and finding a restoration/mitigation company can be daunting. When it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration, SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County is trained and follow an extensive and thorough restoration process in order to get your home or business back to normal.

Each fire/smoke damage case is unique and is treated as such by SERVPRO. SERVPRO professionals will compose a detailed plan to rid your property of smoke and soot damage. Smoke odor latches onto and penetrates the surfaces of walls, ceilings, clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more. It is crucial that all affected contents and surfaces are properly sanitized by professionals. Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine the source of the smoke odor. Experienced professionals know where to look for smoke and soot damage and how to best approach the restoration process.

If smoke damage is not taken care of by a professional, your property and its inhabitants may face greater damage. Smoke and soot can destroy the integrity of your home or business, damaging the ventilation system, air ducts, insulation, wall studs and even the framing/structure.

What Will SERVPRO Do?

Board Up and Security

Fires can destroy doors, walls and windows, leaving your property vulnerable to additional loss from weather or theft. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment and capabilities to provide board up for your home or business. Your home or business may need additional security. SERVPRO can also provide fencing or even security to oversee your property.

Demolition

All damaged structural material is removed from the structure in order for the mitigation and restoration to take place. Demolition is a planned procedure, completed with the utmost care and strategy.

Cleanup

The local fire department will use fire retardants and water to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO will assess and examine the extent of damage to the structure, walls, ceilings, floors, ventilation/HVAC system and contents while composing a thorough plan for mitigation and restoration.

Contents

Clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more that are affected by smoke may be salvaged and sanitized. All affected items deemed salvageable are sanitized and deodorized using specialized solutions and equipment. Contents go through an extensive inventory process ensuring all items are accounted for and stored in a secure location.

Why Hire SERVPRO for Fire & Smoke Damage?

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Employee cleaning soot from ceiling Call SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County, we're open 24/7 365 days a year! (360) 254-0049

After a fire, your house is left with lingering smoke that can be harmful to your health and property. The best thing to do in such a situation is to clean smoke immediately because if you ignore it, you will have a larger problem on your hands and it will require more money to clean than if you had cleaned it sooner. If the smoke is not cleaned as soon as possible, the items that will be mostly affected by smoke are drapes, carpets, upholstery and walls because they will become permanently discolored. Glass will become extremely etched, and metals will tarnish which will require replacement.

You might think that you can do a good job at cleaning smoke by yourself without any basic knowledge and skills on how to go about it but this can lead to you causing further damage on the items. The best thing to do will be to hire experienced SERVPRO professionals to do the cleaning and restore the home to its preloss condition.

One of the advantages of using SERVPRO experts to clean soot is that we have specialized tools which are crucial in eliminating smoke. These are tools such as extractors, rotary scrubbers, and wet cleaning tools. Another advantage is that we have a lot of experience in doing such work; therefore, we will know the right steps to take in cleaning your home and preventing further damage on your property. Our goal is to restore your contents rather than replace, to save you money and heartache.

Bringing in SERVPRO professionals on site will save you headaches and ensure that smoke and fire damage are eradicated efficiently.

What Should You Do After a Fire?

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

electrical outlet fire If a fire has affected your home, give us a call at (360) 254-0049.

What to Expect After a Fire

Fire and smoke damage is destructive and finding a restoration/mitigation company can be daunting. When it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration, our crew of SERVPRO of Vancouver/ Clark County, are trained and follow an extensive and thorough restoration process in order to get your home or business back to normal.

Each fire/smoke damage case is unique and is treated as such by SERVPRO professionals. SERVPRO professionals will compose a detailed plan to rid your property of smoke and soot damage. Smoke odor latches onto and penetrates the surfaces of walls, ceilings, clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more. It is crucial that all affected contents and surfaces are properly sanitized by professionals. Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine the source of the smoke odor. Experienced professionals know where to look for smoke and soot damage and how to best approach the restoration process.

If smoke damage is not taken care of by a professional, your property and its inhabitants may face greater damage. Smoke and soot can destroy the integrity of your home or business, damaging the ventilation system, air ducts, insulation, wall studs and even the framing/structure.

Different Smoke Odors

Cleaning smoke and soot damage yourself or using a basic cleaning service runs the risk of recurring smoke odor which can cause respiratory problems. Smoke odor can be harmful depending on what type of material was burned. Smoke that comes from wood framing causes a “campfire” smell which lets off acetic acid, benzene, carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, formic acid, heavy metals, nitrogen-oxides (NO2), phenols, sulfur dioxide (SO2).

Cooking fire smoke is very difficult to remove and has a lingering smell of burnt animal fat/protein. Grease splatter from a cooking fire requires specific cleaning techniques that only a professional can provide.

When plastic is burned, it releases dangerous chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, dioxins, furans and heavy metals, as well as particulates and are known to cause respiratory ailments which are potentially carcinogenic.

Fireplace wood fires also emit hazardous emissions, such as particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other emissions that can be dangerous for health.

Who Are The Professionals?

SERVPRO provides 24/7 Emergency response. After the initial emergency call our team will promptly respond to your fire damage and arrive onsite, prepared to assess, plan and arrange resources to restore your home or business back to what it once was.

What Will SERVPRO Do?

Board Up and Security

Fires can destroy doors, walls and windows, leaving your property vulnerable to additional loss from weather or theft. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment and capabilities to provide board up for your home or business. Your home or business may need additional security. SERVPRO can also provide fencing or even security to oversee your property.

Demolition

All damaged structural material is removed from the structure in order for the mitigation and restoration to take place. Demolition is a planned procedure, completed with the utmost care and strategy.

Cleanup

The local fire department will use fire retardants and water to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO will assess and examine the extent of damage to the structure, walls, ceilings, floors, ventilation/HVAC system and contents while composing a thorough plan for mitigation and restoration.

Contents

Clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more that are affected by smoke may be salvaged and sanitized. All affected items deemed salvageable are sanitized and deodorized using specialized solutions and equipment. Contents go through an extensive inventory process ensuring all items are accounted for and stored in a secure location.

Using A Fire Extinguisher

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

"check this out" fire extinguisher If you have a fire and need cleanup from the flames or from extinguisher mess, you can contact SERVPRO® of Vancouver/ Clark County at 360-254-0049

An emergency is no time to be learning safety techniques; especially when that emergency is a fire. They spread quickly and before you know it they’re out of control. If you and your loved ones learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher prior to a fire, you could increase the chances of a speedy response and reduce the amount of damage or injury. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has a couple of informational pages on their website dedicated to this topic, but we would like to share some of the information with people who follow us.

In case of a fire, sound the fire alarm. If needed, call the fire department. Safety plans should be in place so that you can quickly identify a safe evacuation path; somewhere that won’t allow the fire, heat, or smoke to block the exit. Before a fire happens, the appropriate type of fire extinguisher should have been bought and placed somewhere where it can be quickly grabbed and used. It is always possible for a fire to flame up again after it has been extinguished, so once the initial flames have been put out back away to avoid being caught by a second blaze. Along these lines, if the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate the premises immediately of any people or animals. Once evacuated, contact fire officials if you haven’t already and wait for them to arrive at the scene.

When it comes to using a fire extinguisher, there is an easy way to remember exactly what to do. OSHA says you should just remember to P.A.S.S.

  • Pull - Pull the pin. This will also break the tamper seal.
  • Aim - Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze - Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep - Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out. Watch the area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat steps 2 - 4.

These steps will make it easy for adults and children to remember what to do in case of a fire.

Just remember that while it is possible for you to contain and extinguish a fire, it is important to know when to get out of a situation to keep yourself safe. Items are replaceable. People are not.

Information retrieved from

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/portable_use.html

The Behavior of Smoke

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke damaged bathroom When fire damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well.

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

SERVPRO technicians are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins SERVPRO technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pre-testing determines the proper cleaning method and allows your SERVPRO of East Vancouver/ Clark County to focus on saving your precious items.

SERVPRO of East Vancouver/ Clark County knows smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

October is Fire Prevention Month

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Residence after fire This home had experienced a fire after a drone had been left on the charger and short circuited in an Orchards neighborhood.

October is fire prevention month and an excellent time to examine the emergency preparedness plans for your home and business, including your fire escape plan. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year? Are you prepared if a disaster strikes?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)  set aside a designated week each October to focus on fire prevention. The 2019 theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice your Escape!”
According to the NFPA, once the fire alarm goes off, “ you could have less than one to two minutes to escape safely,” yet only 8% of people surveyed said getting out was their first thought after hearing a fire alarm. Creating, implementing, and practicing a fire escape plan for your home or business maybe the difference between safety and tragedy. Make a plan today! Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone in your home or business enough time to get out.
How do you define a hero? Is it a person who is courageous and performs good deeds? Someone who comes to the aid of others, even at their own personal risk? A hero can be all of those things! A hero can also be someone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire. When it comes to fire safety, be a hero in your household or community.
SERVPRO of East Vancouver/ Clark county wants you to stay safe, informed, and prepared to help and sure you’re ready for any disaster that comes your way.

Saving Contents after Fire Damage in Your Vancouver Home

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

If a fire has left your family heirloom covered in soot, call SERVPRO for restoration.

Restoration of Fire Damaged Items

In properties affected by fire, most of the focus is on the loss that touches the structural components. However, the loss of contents can pile up to a tidy sum of money. Some items have sentimental value too, which complicates the situation because even replacing them cannot bring back that value.  With the appropriate methods, it is possible to clean and restore contents after fire damage. 

In a rush to restore fire damage in your Vancouver home, it is easy to push restoration of items to the back burner. Some items, especially when caked in soot, might be thrown away even though they are salvageable. Our SERVPRO team helps overcome this problem in many ways.  We sort the contents into categories with salvageable, unsalvageable, and questionable items. We can clean the salvageable items onsite then move out the questionable ones to an offsite facility for specialized restoration. Such an approach creates order, helping save more items.

Saving Collectible Items from Smoke Stains and Soot

Among the contents in your home, there might be collectible or antique items. Their value can be either sentimental or monetary, so there is a need to take every step to restore them. For clear glass or crystal items, a mixture of warm water, dish soap, and vinegar can help remove residues. Our SERVPRO technicians undergo extensive training in different cleaning procedures allowing them to choose the best for you. We also have specialized equipment such as Ultrasonic Cleaners, which use sound waves to form and implode numerous vapor bubbles. Immersing items caked in residues in this cleaner helps deliver results faster.

Restoring Upholstery Items

Upholstery can be affected in different ways during fire incidents. Cleaning can help remove fine soot residues that penetrate deep into the cloth materials as well as remove stains and odor. In case the item is charred, other repairs such as resurfacing might be necessary.  Cleaning mostly involves saturation methods, which dissolve the residues. Our SERVPRO technicians can use Upholstery Cleaning Machines to wash and rinse your items more effectively.

You can save more contents in your home if you involve a professional restorer. Call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. at (360) 254-0049 to assist. Our resources can help eliminate all traces of damage "Like it never even happened."

See more about the 4th largest city in Washington, Vancouver.

One Mistake Often Made After Fire Damage in Vancouver Properties

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can help keep mistakes away from your Vancouver fire damaged properties.

Let us make sure your Vancouver fire is properly handled.

No two ways about it, fire damage feels overwhelming. Even when it is limited to a single area in a home, airborne soot particles cause odor wherever they are in a home and spread with ease. 

During our initial contact with a Vancouver homeowner regarding fire damage, we advise property owners to turn off the HVAC and close off the fire loss area to limit any further spreading of smoke odors within the home. The longer the HVAC operates in the house after a fire, the more likely the ductwork needs cleaning to make the property free of smoke odors.

After SERVPRO technicians remove charred materials from the residence, restore and save fire-damaged items from inclusion as a loss, we move on to odor control. An HVAC inspection is frequently part of fire loss mitigation to thoroughly remove odors from the property. The process is as follows: 

  • Inspection of the ductwork for signs of soot or smoke damage
  • Thorough cleaning of both the return and vent covers
  • Manual cleaning of the clean air handling unit using a vacuum
  • Negative air pressure system efficiently pulls airborne soot particles from within the ductwork
  • Removal of all debris and stains from vent openings and replacement of the HVAC filter

Before the HVAC operates again in the home, SERVPRO technicians perform any needed odor control for the rest of the home to ensure that the airborne and embedded soot particles do not continue to bring foul odors. We have several standard methods dependent on the level of odor-control required. For low amounts of scents, our time-release gel pellets work to overtake smoke odors efficiently. When odors need more robust applications, our certified Odor Control Technicians have access to a diverse array of equipment to neutralize odors at the molecular level

When you need help with fire damage contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. at (360) 254-0049. Our Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Technicians are available 24/7 to make any size loss in your home "Like it never even happened." 

To learn more about Vancouver, click here.

The Ultimate Guide to Fire Damage Remediation in Your Vancouver Home

6/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage remediation can be such a pain to handle alone. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO today for remediation assistance.

Fire Damage Cleanup is a Matching Process in Vancouver

After a fire moves through your Vancouver home, the residues left behind vary from space to space. Differences depend on the materials the fire consumed as fuel as it made its way from room to room and level to level. The characteristics of the soot determine the most efficient ways to remove the soiling from surfaces without creating even more damage. Our team of highly-qualified technicians have the knowledge and experience to evaluate each deposit and decide which cleaning method is best matched to particular soots.

Vancouver fire damage residues and debris can be loose and ashy where wood and dry paper burned. Vacuuming with HEPA-filtered equipment clears much of this dry soot after careful brushing. Dry sponging is effective on walls and ceilings with this kind of damage, but a damp or wet cleaning approach might smear and spread the soiling.  

When an electrical fire smolders behind walls, or fabric and damp materials choke the delivery of oxygen to a blaze, a thick and sticky soot deposits. Our SERVPRO crew uses a more hands-on approach with this type of residue, selecting a cleaner formulated using wetting agents and surfactants to break up the coating. Agitation is typically a strategy used to help dislodge the soot, with technicians working on small areas at a time, spraying, scrubbing, and wiping as they go.

Protein-based soot is a constant challenge in household fires, the result of a kitchen food or grease fire. The soot under these circumstances is a thin coating of almost varnish or lacquer-like consistency, tightly adhering to surfaces. SERVPRO employees might use tools or cleaners with abrasive characteristics to assist in removing this type of soot. Solvents are an option when applied by skilled practitioners.

The team we send to your home complete rigorous training from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in preparation for residential fire damage management.  Our Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) learn how to determine what kinds of soot your project presents and then apply research-based best industry practices to resolve the issues.   

SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. is well-positioned to respond to fire damage in communities north of the Columbia River and west of the Cascades. Call us at (360) 254-0049 for an expert assessment of your fire cleanup needs.

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Vancouver Homeowners Rely on SERVPRO after a Fire Loss for Cleanup and Odor Elimination

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

What? Smelly Odors after a Vancouver House Fire! Call SERVPRO for a Fast Cleanup and Restoration

How Odor Control Technicians Can Help with Fire Damage in Vancouver

Most homeowners experience a property fire at some point. It is rare that these events are catastrophic or require extensive remodeling and general contractors. Still, even a minor fire can be an inconvenience as well as an emotionally distressing experience. Getting back to your everyday life may be difficult as significant amounts of cleaning may be necessary as well as removing unpleasant reminders of the event by tackling stubborn odors.

We are a restoration company that specializes in helping residents overcome fire damage in Vancouver. We arrive once firefighting procedures are complete and aim to mitigate losses in the property as much as possible. Soot and smoke deposits can be set into materials when wet, so responding by using SERVPRO technicians could help you to restore rather than replace furniture and possessions.

In removing soots and smoke residues, SERVPRO may need to establish a quarantine zone. Although harmful monoxides dissipate within the first hour, the type of agitative cleaning methods used in fire restoration could cause odors or soots to become airborne and spread to unaffected areas of the home. By using physical barriers like plastic sheeting, we can prevent this from happening. Also, creating a smaller drying zone allows us to work more efficiently during service.

The odor of synthetic or natural materials can linger long after a fire is extinguished. SERVPRO can use odor control technicians (OCT) for fire damage cleanups to tackle stubborn odors. The general principle in dealing with unpleasant smells is to recreate how the odor was spread using deodorant solvent.

In a fire, the odor is created from the burning of materials at high temperature and spread through the smoke. We vaporize solvent using thermal foggers that spread throughout your home in the same way smoke does. The matching dispersal method ensures that deodorant enters challenging to reach cavities or airways like your ventilation system.

Another method, even during the cleanup and demolition, if needed, is to place hydroxyl generators to neutralize at a molecular level the airborne and static particulates causing the malodors.

Get back to your everyday life as quickly as possible, contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. at (360) 254-0049 today.

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After a Home Fire, There Are Plenty of Cleaning Jobs To Go Around

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

House fire in a Orchards, WA home

Fire damage in a home is often less of a problem than smoke damage. The reason is simple. The fire may be small, but smoke travels everywhere. Everything smoke touches needs cleaning. Luckily, dry-cleaning solves this problem for many fabrics. They include:

  • Drapes and other window dressings
  • Tapestries and Persian carpets
  • Clothing that you would dry clean
  • Any other exposed material which requires dry cleaning

Removal and Cleaning Applies to More Than Fabrics

The general rule after a fire is to remove everything from the home that’s not nailed down. Attempting to clean anything in place only makes the situation worse. All content cleaning should happen outside the home, but where? Dry-cleaning is only part of the answer. Others are:

  • Electronics cleaners for home entertainment equipment, computers, and appliances
  • Sonic cleaners for window blinds and other non-porous non-electric items
  • Art restoration specialists for paintings, sculptures and other artistic pieces
  • Laundry service for everything washable

Don’t Bring Anything Back to Your Smoke-Damaged Home

Your home is still suffering from the effects of the fire. Don’t return your newly-cleaned items only to have them contaminated again. If your things are ready to pick up, you need to solve the problem of content storage. Before you go out looking for storage, try the following:

  1. See if the cleaner will hold your items as a courtesy. Free storage is the best of all the alternatives. Be appreciative.
  2. The cleaner will hold your items for a storage charge. You are going to pay someone for storage. Why not pay someone who knows how to take care of your items?
  3. The cleaner will not hold your items. Ask for any recommendations on storage conditions or facilities. Perhaps the cleaner would be willing to package your items for safe storage.

If your home has a fire, you will want the services of fire remediation experts located in the Orchards, WA, area. They will deal with the smoke and other damage and get you and your mountain of dry-cleaning home quickly.

The Problem of Water After a House Fire

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

House fire in Camas,WA

You may be surprised to learn that some of the most frustrating fire damage has to do with water. After the flames are gone and the smoke has settled, you may still have plenty of water damage to deal with. As you consider the odors, the soot, the damaged furnishings, burned structures, and soaking rooms, the whole situation can seem insurmountable. A clear solution to this problem is hiring restoration professionals.

Why Water's a Problem

How does water cause damage after a fire?

  • Water from the fire hose collects as it puts out flames.
  • Powerful sprays of water or foam move items around.
  • Pipes burst due to extreme temperatures.
  • Openings in the roof or walls allow rain and snow into the home.
  • Sitting water and hidden moisture can lead to mold.

As surprising as it may be, water damage is one of the biggest issues you'll face after a fire.

Your First Steps After Fire

The first few hours after the fire are the most important. As soon as you can, contact your insurance company. During this call, you can find out what your policy covers, and you may get recommendations concerning water and fire damage professionals in Camas, WA. When you have the go-ahead from the fire department, collect important paperwork, receipts, and any necessary items that haven't been too impacted by the fire.

Involve Professionals in the Recovery

Next, you should contact the fire and water damage remediation company. These professionals know which inspections must be completed and can make sure that repairs are completed in compliance with local and national regulations. They also have specialized training and equipment to deal with both damages from the fire, water, and smoke.

As you put plans into place for recovering from fire damage, don't forget to make plans for water damage as well. Take time to choose a company that understands the potential for all types of damage after a fire.

Cooking Can Cost an Estimated $853 Million per Year!

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Stay safe while cooking.

Cooking fires are the leading cause home fires and fire-related injuries in the US. Fire Departments respond to an estimated 156,600 home structure fires every year and 2 out of 5 cooking related.  More that $853 Million* in property damages each year are fires as a result of cooking. Thousand of cooking related fire injuries are reported every year.  SERVPRO offers you these safety tips to ensure your safety and your homes safety. 

Call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. @ 360-254-0049

  1. Don't ever wear loose clothing while cooking
  2. Never leave cooking food unattended
  3. Check food regularly and never leave the house
  4. Keep children away from the cooking area
  5. Keep any flammables far away from the cooking area
  6. Clean cooking area often to prevent grease buildup
  7. Purchase a Fire extinguisher and be properly trained
  8. Always check the kitchen before going to bed
  9. Make sure smoke alarms are installed on each level of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
  10. BE SAFE THE SERVPRO WAY

Home Fire Facts

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Boarding up a home while working with the Red Cross

SERVPRO: Proud National Sponsor of American Red Cross Ready Rating Program.

Home Fires, America's Biggest Disaster Threat.

  • Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200  injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
  • On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.
  • Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.
  • During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing.
  • The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces one's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.

Sources: American Red Cross, U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Fire Protection Association.

For further questions or help with fire clean-up needs, please contact SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049

How To Dry-Clean Your Smoke Damaged Clothing

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in storage on Lacamas, WA

If you recently experienced a fire at your Lacamas, WA, business, and have business clothing that was damaged and can only be laundered by dry-cleaning, you are probably wondering what you can do to fix the appearance and the smell. Fortunately, help is here. Follow these three steps to get your items back in shape.

1. Remove Any Visible Soot

If your clothing has a lot of soot just sitting on it, remove as much as you can before taking any further cleaning steps. You can use a vacuum cleaner or simply shake the clothes off in the outdoor air to get off as much debris as possible.

2. Find Good Content Storage

It is often a good idea to use a fire restoration company, or somewhere similar, to store your smoke damaged items after removing excess soot. This is an important step in the content storage and cleaning process as it gives you somewhere to house everything that needs to be cleaned, rather than forcing you to store it all somewhere that could become soiled from any remaining ashes.

3. Dry Clean Your Clothing

You will want to choose a dry-cleaning company with extensive experience in handling post-fire clothing in order to ensure that your clothing has the best chance of being fully restored. In some cases, the fire restoration and clean-up company that is storing your items may be able to clean them and return them to their original state. Do your research and make sure that the company handling your possessions is one that you can trust.

Dry-cleaning will be your best bet to get your work clothes back in shape after your business’s Lacamas, WA, fire. Understanding your preliminary steps and the importance of research before making any decisions will help you increase your chances of getting your clothing back to the way they were before the damage.

5 Ways Furnace Maintenance Can Make Your Home Safer

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Regular furnace maintenance is one thing you should always do to keep your home safe.

As a homeowner in Vancouver, WA, you have the worst-case scenario on your mind. After all, if a storm damages your roof or a fire burns your kitchen, you are the one who has to call in a restoration team to deal with the aftermath. Taking preventative measures can help you avoid smoke or fire cleaning. Even something like normal furnace maintenance can help make your house safer.

1. Make Sure It Works: The first thing regular maintenance does is ensure your furnace will work when you need it to. Going through the winter without a working heating device can leave you and your family stranded in a cold situation.
2. Reduce Buildup: Furnace filters help keep the air in your home clean. If these filters aren't cleaned regularly, the gunk in them could cause the furnace to overheat. An overheating furnace could lead to a fire. Regularly replacing your furnace filter can actually reduce the need for fire cleaning.
3. Fix Faults: As furnaces age, they may accumulate faults. Faulty wires and poor shut-off mechanisms can make your home more dangerous. Faulty wires can easily cause sparks that lead to smoky fires and the need for a major smoke cleaning in your house.
4. Contain Gas: If your unit uses gas to heat the home, you have to worry about the gas filling your house. However, proper maintenance looks at the gas lines to ensure everything is hooked up properly. When you have this inspection done annually, it's easy for you to be aware of a potential problem.
5. Protect Fuses: Some older furnaces may cause a circuit in your house to trip. If you have a professional look at the equipment regularly, you will know when it is no longer functioning on the electrical system.

If you don't want to hire a professional to perform smoke or fire cleaning, you need to do what you can to prevent a fire from breaking out in your house. Regular furnace maintenance is one thing you should always do to keep your home safe. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROevancouverclarkco.com/.

Proactive Wild Land Fire Information

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

Even though our local home town may not be at immediate risk of wild land fires, we do live in a region of strong possibilities. 

In the teachings of the American Red Cross, wild land fires are the number one most likely disaster concern in our territory.  Wild land fires can easily reach structures if in the path of the fire line.  

The best way to counter act that possibility is to prepare your surroundings and heed the warnings of the local media. Be aware of the different types of warnings. 

Take a moment to read and follow the advice below.

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house. Learn more about the basics of defensible space on the Firewise website.
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
  • Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
  • Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.

If any type of fire disaster has affected your life, home or business, please call us.

SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. 

3 Items To Toss Away After a House Fire

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Items inside your Vancouver, WA, home can be affected by fire in different ways.

When a fire affects your Vancouver, WA, home, you may be left wondering how to restore your valued belongings and what to throw away. While circumstances vary, there are a few possessions that may need to be tossed to ensure the safety of your family. As you work to return your home to normal, there are several common household items you should consider replacing once they have endured a fire.

1. Medicine

The effectiveness of some medicines may be impacted once they have been exposed to high heat. When you can re-enter your home safely, check your medicine cabinet or other areas where you store prescription medications. If the plastic bottles appear warped or have been exposed to fire extinguisher dust, they should be thrown away. Ask your pharmacy about replacement options and whether you can be compensated for lost meds.

2. Cosmetics

When some cosmetics suffer fire damage, they may no longer be safe to apply to your skin. Any cosmetics left out on vanities or dressers in rooms affected by fire should be disposed of, as they might be coated with soot or ash that is difficult to see. It’s better to err on the side of caution, even if you take a loss on what you spent for your makeup.

3. Canned Foods

While you may be able to sanitize canned foods after a flood, fire and extreme temperatures can change the contents in ways that water cannot. Inspect your pantry’s contents carefully and throw away cans, dried goods and packages that have been visibly burned, appear warped or are coated with dried extinguisher foam.

Items inside your Vancouver, WA, home can be affected by fire in different ways. Knowing what to throw away after a blaze can protect your family from the possible contaminants that may be lurking in everyday items. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROevancouverclarkco.com/.

Fire Facts

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

An infographic showing facts about fires

As scary as it is, the facts below are very accurate based on the American Red Cross studies. Here is some information that you need to know.

  • Fire-related deaths and injuries are highest in homes without smoke alarms.
  • Last year the American Red Cross responded to nearly two home fires each day in our area.
  • 50% of all residential heating related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.
  • Heating is the 2nd leading cause of residential fire deaths.
  • Keep flammables at least 3 feet from heating sources.
  • Turn portable heaters when you leave a room or go to bed.
  • Always use the right specific fuel, specified by the manufacturer for fuel burning heaters.
  • Ensure fireplace has a secure and sturdy screen.
  • Have qualified professionals install stationary heating equipment and have it cleaned and inspected every year.
  • More than 60 percent of fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. 
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Please call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049

9 Smoke Odor Removal Musts

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

For more information or to request the help of your local SERVPRO professionals please call (360) 254-0049

"I live in a crack house. Well, it used to be a crack house until the new owner threw out the old tenants and restored the home, to the relief of the neighborhood. But I’m afraid that it wasn’t completely restored. I’m a non-smoker, and on humid days the smell of cigarette smoke can be pretty pervasive in some rooms. I’m guessing a lot of it may come from the popcorn ceiling that was only painted over when it probably should have been removed. But on fire restoration jobs, this is a much bigger issue."

One of the most critical concerns for fire restoration contractors is failing to control or eradicate odors. This problem can lead to frustrated customers as well as potential legal and financial dangers. Eliminating this problem is made more difficult when remodeling work was undertaken by either inexperienced homeowners or unprofessional contractors, as their alterations may have contributed to hidden places for fire and smoke damage to linger.

Remediating a fire loss may also take longer, meaning you might have to wait a while before you’re paid. In fact, some contractors have avoided getting involved in fire restoration because it seems too complicated. But it’s not, as long as you appreciate the principles and correct techniques of fire restoration and odor control. Here are some things to remember:

  • Make sure there’s a straightforward exchange of information between you, the customer, the insurance adjuster and any possible subcontractors. Communicating clearly and setting expectations is a critical component of the job.
  • Get a written agreement from the homeowner on exactly what areas have been damaged by the fire and what items should be salvaged or discarded. You don’t want them coming back to you later claiming you’ve trashed an heirloom or didn’t finish the job.
  • The way that fire and water damage jobs are handled do have some similarities, but they can’t be interchanged. Confirm that only techs with at least a Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) certification are allowed to work on the site. Being Odor Control Technician (OCT) certified is also helpful.
  • Smoke and fire residues can be poisonous, as fires can include the demolition of plastic, foam, fabric, carpet, wood products, synthetic textiles, and asbestos-containing materials. Ash and smoke can also cause widespread corrosion, etching and staining, as well as persistent powerful odors. So removing these and their sources should be your first priority.
  • If the damage is localized, contain those areas to assist in removing odors.
  • Carefully inspect all areas that may have numerous layers of wall board. These may hide unexpected gaps and voids that turn into superhighways for circulating smoke and odor.
  • Examine all wall cavities, duct work, and plumbing chases to establish whether they suffered any smoke residue or fire damage.
  • Use a borescope to discover any damage that may otherwise have been impossible to see without having to completely remove a part of the structure. If the fire is recent, use of a thermal imaging camera may reveal hidden warmer areas, indicating possible fire damage.
  • Aside from losing their valuables, the majority of homeowners are underinsured. They may even have to take up temporary lodging. So you’re going to be dealing with some very distraught people. Train yourself and your employees on how to be empathetic and ways to successfully communicate with them.

When eliminating malodors on fire jobs, remember that there are several factors that can impact the strength of the odor:

  • Size - The bigger the fire, the more objects have burned, and thus there’s been more smoke.
  • Length -The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply odor has seeped into porous materials.
  • Space - When a fire occurs in a smaller room, the smoke odor becomes more intense and concentrated.
  • Stuff - Not all odors are equal. For instance, burning wood, plastic and protein all have very different smells and consistency. This may influence the types of odor eliminators you use.

WHERE the damage occurred and WHAT burned will always be your two main concerns in fire restoration. Knowing the full answers to those questions will likely ensure that your restoration efforts will be complete and that you’ll be able to eliminate all of those irritating malodors, while at the same time eliminating any call backs.

Source: ODOROX

What To Do Before, During, and After a Fire

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Contact the fire experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. for further assistance in recovering from the fire @ (360) 254-0049

Before A Fire

  1. Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  2. Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  3. Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
  4. Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
  5. Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
  6. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
  7. Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

If A Fire Starts

  • Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
  • Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
  • Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
  • If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
  • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
  • Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.

Recovering After A Fire

  • Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.
  • Let friends and family know you’re safe.
  • People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.
  • Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.
  • Contact your fire restoration and cleanup experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. for further assistance in recovering from the  fire @ (360) 254-0049.

Source: American Red Cross - National Sponsor of SERVPRO

Protect Your Home From Wildfire

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

If your home or business is affected by smoke or fire damage call your local experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. (360) 254-0049

Are you prepared if your home is at risk because of a wildfire? With many wildfires surrounding the Pacific Northwest this summer here are some helpful tips to reduce damage to your residence.

1. Maintain Defensible Space (0–5 feet)

Use noncombustible materials such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home.

2. Reduce Siding Risks

Maintain 6-inch ground-to-siding clearance, and consider noncombustible siding.

3. Clean Debris from Roof

Regularly remove debris from your roof, since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.

4. Use a Class A Roof Covering

Class A fire-rated roofing products offer the best protection for homes.

5. Clean Out Gutters Regularly

Keep debris out of gutters since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be noncombustible.

6. Reduce Fence Risks

Burning fencing can generate embers and cause direct flame contact to your home. Use noncombustible fences and gates.

7. Keep Embers out of Eaves and Vents

Use 1/8-inch mesh to cover vents, and box-in open eaves to create a soffited eave.

8. Protect Windows

Use multi-pane, tempered glass windows, and close them when a wildfire threatens.

9. Reduce Deck Risks

At a minimum, use deck boards that comply with California requirements for new construction in wildfire-prone areas, remove combustibles under deck, and maintain effective defensible space.

10. Maintain Defensible Space (5–30 feet)

Remove shrubs under trees, prune branches that overhang your roof, thin trees, and remove dead vegetation. Move trailers/RVs and storage sheds from area, or build defensible space around these items.

The information found in this article was provided by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

If your home or business is affected by smoke or fire damage call your local experts at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver & Clark Co. (360) 254-0049

Recommended Firework Safety Tips

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. is here to help 24/7 365 days a year @ (360) 254-0049

With July 4th approaching soon this is a perfect time to review some of the basic tips for handling fireworks to prevent injury or damage to yours, or other's property. These tips are provided by The National Council On Firework Safety.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

We wish you a happy and SAFE 4th of July, and we definitely hope that you will not be in need of a restoration company this year. In the event that you experience any kind of water, smoke, or fire damage to your home or office all of us here at SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. are here to help 24/7 365 days a year @ (360) 254-0049

Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

4/12/2017 (Permalink)


  • Last year the Red Cross responded to nearly two home fires each day in our area.

  • Three out of Five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.

  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.

  • More than one-third(37%) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present

  • The risk of dying in a house fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

  • Install smoke alarms at every level of the home.

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.  If an alarm "chirps", the battery is low and should be replaced right away.

  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years with brand new smoke alarms.

  • The American Red Cross is sponsoring free Smoke Alarm installations. 

  • Questions: Please call 503-528-5783 American Red Cross or SERVPRO of E.&W. Vancouver/Clark Co. @ 360-254-0049