Recent Fire Damage Posts

Another Wildfire Season Is Upon Us

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfires can strike quickly and without warning

Wildfires can ruin homes and businesses, and can cause injuries or deaths to people and animals. Wildfires can happen anywhere and anytime, and risk increases during periods of little rain and high winds. Wildfires cost billions of dollars every year.

Now that Wildfire Season is upon us all, SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River & Wasco Counties would like to remind our neighbors of these Wildfire related tips;

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WILDFIRE WARNING, GET TO SAFETY RIGHT AWAY

  • If told to leave, do so.
  • If trapped, call 911
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts
  • Use "N95" masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe

WHAT TO DO NOW : PREPARE

  • Sign up for your communities warning system
  • Know your communities evacuation plans and find several ways to leave the area
  • Gather emergency supplies - keep in mind each persons needs, including medications and important documents. Don't forget the needs of pets
  • Keep important documents in a safe, fireproof place
  • Use fire resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs
  • Identify an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach your property
  • Create a fire resistant zone around your home free of flammable materials at least 30 feet from your home
  • Review insurance policies to make sure your coverage is adequate

WHAT TO DO AFTER : BE SAFE

  • Listen to authorities to find out when it is safe to return
  • Avoid hot ash, charred trees, smoldering debris, and live embers
  • Send text messages or use social media to reach out to family and friends. Phone systems are often busy following a disaster - make only emergency calls
  • Wear a NIOSH certified respirator / dust mask and wet down debris to prevent breathing dust particles
  • Document property damage with photographs. Conduct an inventory and contact your insurance company for claims handling

About SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River & Wasco Counties

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River, & Wasco Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to specific IICRC Industry Certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and skill to restore your property.

SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River & Wasco Counties is available 24 hours a day for any emergency, large or small. When you are experiencing property damage, immediate action is crucial - a delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of damage to your property.

SERVPRO recognizes National Wildfire Awareness Month

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Now is the time to prepare!

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River & Wasco Counties would like to remind our friends and neighbors that May has been deemed "National Wildfire Awareness Month".

Five Things You Should Know

  1. We all have a role to play in preventing wildfires and protecting our communities.
  2. Prevention can begin at home. The "Defensible Space" is your property's front line defense against wildfires. Protect it by removing brush and trimming branches that hang near your home.
  3. Wildfires can come without warning, and move quickly. Prepare now in case you have to leave your home. Register for emergency notification systems in your community and make a plan where your family will go and how you will stay in contact if evacuated.
  4. Never underestimate the importance of campfire safety: always check if the campground or park allows outdoor fires before you strike a match. If permitted, make sure you have water or an extinguisher on hand. Before you leave, make sure the fire is dead out - if it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave. 
  5. Yard clean-up tools can actually start a wildfire if not handled properly. Be mindful when operating gas powered equipment and be prepared to extinguish fires if started, or operate equipment early in the morning when temps are lower, and humidity is higher.

2018 Facts - By The Numbers

During the 2018 wildfire season, Oregonians were responsible for starting 1,330 wildfires that consumed over 329,000 acres. The locally owned SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River & Wasco Counties reminds our Columbia River Gorge neighbors that the local SERVPRO professionals are always ready to help, 24/7/365.

SERVPRO Offers Fire Safety Awareness Tips

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Practice makes perfect!

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Top Tips for Fire Safety

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

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.

For more information or free emergency planning materials, contact SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River & Wasco Counites today!

Smoke Detector Safety Can Reduce Fire Damage In Columbia Gorge Homes

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Be sure to install your smoke detectors in the best place to insure that they are effective in detecting smoke in you Columbia Gorge home.

Thanks to public safety awareness campaigns and building codes, most Columbia Gorge households have a smoke detector in their homes. Unfortunately, many homes still have an inadequate number of detectors and some of those may be mounted incorrectly. An improperly placed smoke detector can affect the devices ability to sense smoke quickly and put your home at risk of a fire. 

Because modern furnishings – from appliances to bedding to carpeting- are primarily made from synthetic materials, house fires spread faster than in the past, when furnishings were from natural materials. This creates a need for more detectors throughout the home in order to give everyone time to escape. The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requires an alarm inside and outside of every sleeping room as well as on each floor of a home, including the basement.

Smoke detectors might also be installed in an ineffective place in a room.  When placed on a wall, it should be between 4" and 12" from the ceiling. When on a ceiling, it should be 4" from the adjoining wall, to avoid the "dead space", as seen in our graphic to the right. If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak (four inches down from the peak). In a basement, the best place to install your alarm is at above the bottom step. Avoid installing near doors, air ducts and windows, as they might interfere with detection.  

Most of the smoke detectors found on store shelving today have a permanent, non removable lithium battery that will last ten years. This removes the need to replace the battery when it starts beeping – or worse, the battery being removed and not replaced. Of course, the detector itself will require replacement after ten years.  When the alarm starts chirping at the end of its lifespan, that is your signal to replace it. 

In our work as fire damage restoration professionals, we have seen the devastation that a house fire can cause. It's heartbreaking to see a home and all the contents that were very sentimental to those who lived there destroyed. Take the time today to check your smoke detectors and make sure that they are properly placed, that there are enough of them and that they are in working order.  

Space Heater Safety

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Always Practice Space Heater Safety

Space Heaters Need Their Space

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River & Wasco Counties reminds Columbia Gorge Residents that half of all home heating fires happen during the months of December, January, and February. The National Fire Protection Association Agency offer the following safety tips:

  • Place the heater on a hard, level, and nonflammable surface. They are intended to sit on the floor and not a table.
  • Establish a 3-foot kid- and pet-free zone around the heater, and never put a space heater in a child's room.
  • Keep the space heater at least 3 feet away from such combustible materials as furniture, bedding, and curtains.
  • Don't use a heater in a workshop or garage near paint, gas cans, or matches.
  • Turn it off when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Unplug the heater when not in use by pulling the plug straight from the outlet. Check the cord for damage periodically, and don’t use it if it’s frayed or worn.
  • Don’t plug another electrical device or an extension cord into the same outlet as a heater, which can cause overheating.
  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home, and test them monthly.

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River and Wasco Counties is the Columbia River Gorges trusted choice of property owners and managers alike. The dedicated team at SERVPRO is always available 24/7/365 to service your needs!

Avoid Holiday Hazards

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Stormy and Blaze know that 1 of every 3 home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.

Candles, pretty lights and decorations are just a few of the items that add to the charm and cheer of the holiday season - however if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightful very quickly.

Review the following simple safety tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association to greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business.

  • Two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from a flammable surface. Use sturdy candle holders. 
  • Make sure your tree and decorations are at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, space heaters, candles, etc.
  • Use the correct type of lights for your decor. Only use outdoor lights that are rated for that environment.
  • Carefully inspect light strands for damaged wire or bulbs. Never connect more strings than what is rated by the manufacturer. 
  • Remember to turn off outdoor lights before leaving or going to sleep. Consider using timers rated for outdoor use.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards. 
  • Remove your tree after the holidays, or when it dries out. Dried trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in, or next to a home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. 

For more information about fire safety tips, or fire, smoke, water, and mold damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River and Wasco Counties today at 541-386-2288.

SERVPRO Offers Candle Safety Tips

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Candle Fires Average $295 Million In Direct Property Damage

10 Commandments of Candle Safety 

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River and Wasco Counties reminds Columbia Gorge residents that whether it’s a menorah, a candelabra or a single taper, it’s safe to say that candles are everywhere this holiday season.

If you're planning on lighting a candle or two this holiday season, here are the 10 commandments of candle safety.

1. Thou shall not leave thy candle unattended. This one is pretty obvious, but don’t be tempted to ignore it. 11 percent of home candle fires happen when no one is keeping an eye on things.

2. Thou shall keep candles away from small children and pets. Keep your candle well out of reach of little hands and pets—and never let a child fall asleep beside a candle.

3. Thou shall not place candles on an unstable surface. Instead, place your candle on a steady heat-resistant base.

4. Thou shall keep thy candle far, far away from other materials. This one’s a biggie when you consider the fact that 58 percent of home candle fires happen when some form of combustible material comes too close to the candle’s flame.

5. Thou shall trim the wick so it’s 1/4 inch at all times. Long or warped wicks are more likely to burn unevenly, drip or flare up.

6. Thou shall read the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use. Each candle is unique, so read the sticker instructions on yours. 

7. Thou shall not burn a candle to the very end of its life. Burning your candle all the way down is a fire hazard. 

8. Thou shall use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. In addition to adding an element of old-school formality to your candle burning, a snuffer prevents hot wax from splattering.

9. Thou shall place thy candle in a proper candleholder. Is your candleholder heat-resistant, sturdy and able to catch drips? 

10. Thou shall extinguish a candle with a high or flickering flame. This is a definite fire hazard, so extinguish the flame.

SERVPRO - YOUR LOCAL DISASTER SPECIALIST

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River, and Wasco Counties specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair servicesfor both commercial and residential customers. For more information about SERVPRO, please visit us at SERVPROeastclackamashoodriverwascocounties.com or call us at 541-386-2288

Wildfire Season is upon us

7/11/2018 (Permalink)

Wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge

7/11/2017

Wildfires can ruin homes and businesses, and can cause injuries or deaths to people and animals. Wildfires can happen anywhere and anytime. Risk increases during periods of little rain and high winds. Wildfires cost billions of dollars every year.

Now that Wildfire Season is upon us all, SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River and Wasco Counties would like to remind our neighbors of these Wildfire related tips;

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WILDFIRE WARNING, GET TO SAFETY RIGHT AWAY

  • If told to leave, do so.
  • If trapped, call 911
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts
  • Use N95 masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe

WHAT TO DO NOW : PREPARE

  • Sign up for your communities warning system
  • Know your communities evacuation plans and find several ways to leave the area
  • Gather emergency supplies - keep in mind each persons needs, including medications and important documents. Don't forget the needs of pets
  • Keep important documents in a safe, fireproof place
  • Use fire resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs
  • Identify an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach your property
  • Create a fire resistant zone around your home free of flammable materials at least 30 feet from your home
  • Review insurance policies to make sure your coverage is adequate

WHAT TO DO AFTER : BE SAFE

  • Listen to authorities to find out when it is safe to return
  • Avoid hot ash, charred trees, smoldering debris, and live embers
  • Send text messages or use social media to reach out to family and friends. Phone systems are often busy following a disaster - make only emergency calls
  • Wear a NIOSH certified respirator / dust mask and wet down debris to prevent breathing dust particles
  • Document property damage with photographs. Conduct an inventory and contact your insurance company for claims handling

About SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River and Wasco Co's

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River, and Wasco counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-Industry Certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River and Wasco Co's is available 24 hours a day for any emergency, large or small. When you are dealing with property damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of damage to your property.

WE ANSWER THE PHONE READY TO HELP !

541-386-2288

Local Disaster Response Professional Says Keep the Focus on Fire Prevention For a Safe and Joyous Holiday Season

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

The American Red Cross (ARC) cites statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration showing 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.

SERVPRO of East Clackamas, Hood River and Wasco Counties cautions home owners to follow some important ARC guidelines for holiday decorating and entertaining to make sure that the glow in their holiday celebrations is from twinkling lights and not a costly and potentially deadly fire. 

  • Place Christmas tress and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
  • Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren't easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • If you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keep flammable items, including curtains and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah or kinara on a non-flammable surface, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil, to catch the melting candle wax. Never leave lit candles unattended. 
  • Ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave and always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed. 

If, in spite of all your precautions, a fire does break out, the most important thing you can do to help save lives is to install and maintain smoke alarms throughout the property. Having a working smoke alarm reduces everyone's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. The ARC is joining with the fire departments and community groups nation wide to deliver and install a limited number of free smoke alarms in homes for those in need. Contact your local ARC chapter for more information.

For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPROhoodriver.com

Fireworks Safety

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Summer is here and we all know that the 4th of July and fireworks season will be here before we know it. We at SERVPRO of E. Clackamas, Hood River, & Wasco Co. want everyone to be safe and enjoy the holidays with their families. Fireworks can cause fires that damage property and our loved ones, so please be safe during the holidays.

According to the National Fire Protection Association http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fire-causes/fireworks

In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires.

More than one-quarter (28%) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on Independence Day. Almost half (47%) of the reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.

According to the CPSC, more than one-third (35%) of the people seen in emergency rooms for fireworks injuries from June 20-July 20, 2014 were under 15; nine percent were under five.

CPSC data show that sparklers alone accounted for more than one one-quarter (28%) of the emergency room fireworks injuries seen from June 20-July 20, 2014.  Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 541-386-2288

About SERVPRO of E. Clackamas, Hood River, & Wasco Co.

SERVPRO of E. Clackamas, Hood River, & Wasco Co. specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

BBQ Season is upon us.

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

It’s that time of the year again, BBQ season; everyone loves this time of the year when they get to spent it with friends and family outside grilling up some tasty meals. Before you start up that grill, let’s make use you are prepared to grill safely.

According to the National Fire Protection Association  http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fire-causes/appliances-and-equipment/home-grill-fires

In 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues per year. This includes structure fires and outside or unclassified fires on home properties.

These 8,900 fires caused annual averages of 10 civilian deaths, 160 reported civilian injuries, and $118 million in direct property damage. Almost all the losses resulted from structure fires.

Five out of six (83%) grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas while 13% used charcoal or other solid fuel.

The leading causes of grill fires were a failure to clean, having the grill too close to something that could catch fire and leaving the grill unattended.

A leak or break was the leading cause for outside or unclassified grill fires. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 541-386-2288

About SERVPRO of E. Clackamas, Hood River, & Wasco Co.

SERVPRO of E. Clackamas, Hood River, & Wasco Co. specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.