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Residential Fire Statistics

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

smoke damaged kitchen Contact SERVPRO® of Vancouver/Clark County (360) 254-0049 if you do experience damages from a house fire.

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

Commercial Damage Have you Puzzled?

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

commercial structure with Servpro vehicles Remain positive and hopeful because SERVPRO of E. Vancouver is here to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Natural disasters can cause significant and costly damages to homes, roads and, of course, local businesses. While you should always be prepared for such events, by maintaining adequate insurance coverage and secure file backups, you sometimes get little warning before disaster strikes. And if something happens, you'll want to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the road to recovery isn't always easy. A previous article about recovery from 2012's Superstorm Sandy reported that just 25 percent of small businesses had backups of critical programs and data before the storm, and even fewer (20 percent) said they had protected their buildings from the storm or prepared emergency survival kits.

Execute your business continuity plan

Your business continuity plan should prepare you for major disaster scenarios, such as the loss or unavailability of IT systems, key people or a facility third party. Make sure key personnel will have access to the plan on secured mobile devices immediately after a disaster.

Don't have a business continuity plan?

Check your backed-up data

You should have already backed up and safely stored your most critical data: your business license, major contracts and legal documents, tax returns and financial statements, and other critical business and customer documents. Following a disaster, make sure your vital records are still securely accessible from the devices you're using.

Communicate with your employees and external parties

Leverage your website, social media channels and text messaging to reach your employees, customers, partners and vendors. Reassure your customers that you're still in business, while making sure that no communications will inadvertently create legal liability or adversely affect service-level agreements.

Contact your insurance company

Once you and your employees are safe and accounted for after a disaster, survey the damage. Contact your insurance company to file a claim. You should always do an occasional check-up to ensure you have adequate coverage for major disaster types, including cybersecurity insurance. Office break-ins and vandalism may occur during a disaster, and if someone steals computer equipment or paper documents containing personally identifiable information, and the information was not encrypted, you may have a legal requirement to notify your customers. To be safe, encrypt your customer data, digitize paper documents and store all critical data in a secure, cloud-based document-management system.

If your insurance doesn't cover the full cost of the damage, you may be eligible for a disaster loan from the Small Business Administration of up to $2 million. The SBA may even provide working capital loans, even if you didn't have any property damage.

Grill Safely This Summer!

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

grill fire SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer!

Celebrate Summer Safety 

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure  the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

Why Hire SERVPRO for your Water Damage

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

water damaged hall with flood lines Please reach out to us with questions or concerns 24/7 365 days a year (360) 254-0049

Water damage can happen to your home or business when you least expect it. Sometimes it may be as a result of leakages that you have been ignoring, or it can be an aftermath of a fire or flooding. Therefore, it might find you when you are not prepared financially to hire external help. So the first thing that will come to your mind is how to fix the water damage on your own to save money. You can do a very good job at dealing with water damage in your home in some situations, but if the damage is too severe, you will need the input of well-trained SERVPRO professionals to fix it for you. Here are the reasons why hiring professionals to do the work is the most prudent thing to do;

Once on site, professionals can quickly determine what items have been severely ruined by water damage. They will begin by getting rid of any porous items that could have come into contact with water because they tend to absorb too much water which can act as breeding grounds for harmful microbes. These items include mattresses, particle board, box springs, and pillows.

SERVPRO professionals will also identify any pockets that are holding excess moisture and remove the water. They have special equipment that they can use to measure moisture in hidden areas such as beneath tiles and other materials that do not become wet easily. When they find the hidden pockets, they will expose them to air by taking out the tile or material above it. They will also clean all areas with moisture using methods such as pressure washing with strong detergents. They will also accelerate the process of drying to prevent mold growth or any harmful bacteria. If the SERVPRO professionals discover the presence of bacteria or mold in your house, they will use mechanical or chemical methods to eradicate it.

At SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co., we have experienced professionals who can spot compromised areas in your house and do everything possible to restore it. They are IICRC certified through a recognized organization. 

Recommended Firework Safety Tips

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

happy 4th of july 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 W. Vancouver / Clark Co. are here to help 24/7 365 days a year @ (360) 254-0049

We Ask Questions to Better Serve You After A Water Damage

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded commercial building and parking lot We have drying down to a science!

SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today (360) 245-0049. We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Vancouver has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed. Other questions we will ask to get started are... 

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Why Call SERVPRO?

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

water damaged ceiling, paint bubble Call our office and talk to a trained professional, we're always happy to help!

Most home owners know that if their property suffers a water damage this is the kind of situation that you want to handle both immediately and effectively. To achieve this, you should count with a trusted, professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County to handle your water loss. Besides the fact that we are here for you 24/7, and that we are right here in your community, there are three important reasons why we strongly suggest that you allow us to help you to restore your home in case you have a water damage emergency.

1. Our knowledgeable and professional team: Our technicians are highly-trained and certified in the water restoration process. Some of our team members have been with SERVPRO of Vancouver/Clark County for 14+ years, this alone gives them the field experience and the ability to understand that each loss and client is unique and therefore, they are respectful and friendly when dealing with a client who is going through a stressful situation.

2. Special Equipment and Substance Needed to Perform the Job:  SERVPRO has access to state of the art equipment (high-powered air fans, dehumidifiers, extraction equipment, industrial vacuums, monitoring equipment, etc.) as well as an entire line of chemicals and cleaning products that were created in SERVPRO's very own lab. These products are industrial strength as well as hospital grade. Our response team has their IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) in order to better serve you. 

3. We are here 24/7 for you: We know that a water loss can happen when you least expect it. Therefore, we are here 24/7 for you. Anytime of the day or night that you need us we are here for you.

Don't Let A Water Damage Go Undetected

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

water damaged buckling floors We're the leaders in water damage restoration, call us day or night!

When it comes to water damage, it is important to remember that it doesn’t take a major flood or a hurricane to cause severe damage to your home. Most water damage problems are actually the result of a small leak that goes undetected over a long period of time. By the time you notice it, it is too late. Your drywall can become swollen and stained, ceilings could be sagging, carpets ruined, floors warped and it could pose a threat to your home’s electrical system. 

Whether you’ve discovered water damage from a broken or leaky pipe, a sewer line break, a sink or toilet overflow, or a malfunctioning appliance like a water heater, washing machine, dishwasher or refrigerator in your home, our flood damage technicians are equipped to handle any problem 24 hours a day.

Something as small as above average humidity levels are more than enough to cause you problems, namely in the form of mold, mildew, and other potentially dangerous toxins. According to the CDC you should keep the moisture levels in your inhabitable spaces between 40% to 60%.Molds slowly destroy the things they grow on, and if left unchecked, can cause serious structural damage.

Fast Response

The key to proper restoration is fast response time. The sooner you call SERVPRO the faster our team of certified service technicians can get to work to make the water damage "Like it never even happened."

 Our water damage services include:

  • Water extraction
  • Structural drying
  • Damage Assessments
  • Mold Remediation
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Debris Removal
  • Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
  • Structural Repair

We strive for exceptional customer service.

Our top priorities are safety, quality, and exceptional customer service. We are an emergency restoration company that provides service to both residential and commercial clients. If you have flooding of any kind, our trained and certified technicians can handle any and all water damage situations. We make sure that any affected area is professionally cleaned, deodorized and sanitized. SERVPRO of East Vancouver/ Clark County is available to handle any opportunity 24 hours a day.

Filing a Water Damage Claim

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

before, during, after of a water damage We'll help you through the process, call our knowledgeable staff!

Documentation is required to file a homeowners insurance claim for water damage. A policyholder should provide photos, videos, maintenance records, and proof of purchase to an insurer as evidence of damage caused by a pipe burst or any type of leak. Learn more about what information a homeowner should gather as he or she prepares to file a claim for water damage.

Proof of Damage

Insurers will want to see proof of the full extent of the damage. There are several types of useful documentation:

  • Photographs
  • Video
  • Footage dated prior to an incident

These records indicate that damage was caused by the incident that led a homeowner to file an insurance claim. It is important to document damage before taking any steps toward mitigation. Homeowners may also benefit from being able to produce maintenance records indicating that the incident was not due to negligence. Even if an insurer does not cover the cause of damage, coverage should be available for the effects.

Proof of Purchase

It can also be helpful to gather receipts or other proof of purchase for damaged contents. Check your policy to ensure that the replacement cost of items is covered rather than the actual cash value. Given depreciation, the latter may not be sufficient to replace items with severe damage.

A Restoration Estimate

Insurers prefer to work with an established water damage mitigation and restoration company. Obtain an estimate for the cleanup and restoration processes by contacting a company that provides both services. This calculation may be more accurate and complete than estimates from more than one business.

All of this information can help a homeowner filing an insurance claim for water damage. Be aware that homeowners insurance does not cover any damage caused by flooding. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary for damage resulting from heavy rains or rising bodies of water in Hazel Dell, WA.

After the Storm-Remediation

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

flood can happen in a flash, residential We are ready for your call! (360) 254-0049

As homeowners in Southwest, WA, and other locations around the country are likely to attest, the clean up, repair, and restoration chores that emerge after a damaging storm are at minimum, a nuisance, and in many cases, a much more serious undertaking. Storm damage remediation can range from a clean up to a tear out to a rebuild, depending on the type and extent of the destruction.

The Usual Suspect: Water

One of the most frequent and frustrating problems property owners face is the damaging effects of water infiltration. To further complicate the challenge of inundation, floodwater from rivers and streams brings the specter of biological contamination, commonly known as black water. Once a destructive storm has passed, assessment of its damage may begin and progress to the following procedures:

  1. The extraction of water through pumping, mopping and dehumidification.
  2. Tear out of wet materials to prevent mold growth.
  3. Drying of the structure.
  4. Decontamination of salvageable materials.
  5. Repair and replacement of compromised building material and furnishings.

While it is true that many materials that have been subjected to black water contamination will have to be discarded, other types of water damage can be mitigated. A professional assessment can be very helpful in making the correct determination, especially with regard to the safety of the home and its furnishings.

Documentation is Vital

Document the damage before initiating storm restoration. It is likely to be necessary in filing flood insurance claims, and there may be a delay in the arrival of an adjuster if flooding is widespread. Digital pictures and/or video that can be easily emailed are the preferred media.

Humanity’s relationship to the planet’s most abundant natural resource can seem paradoxical, particularly in the midst of a tear out of the cherished furnishings of a home. Keeping water where it belongs and a balanced perspective are central to the experience of homeownership.