Recent Fire Damage Posts
3 Things You May Need To Throw Away After a Home Fire
Fire in a Salmon Creek, WA home
Items that Need to Be Thrown Out After a Fire
When a fire occurs in your home in Salmon Creek, WA, the process of cleaning up can be daunting. Often, people are unsure of what to throw away. There are several types of items that are often damaged in fires, and they commonly need to be thrown out.
Cosmetics, even if they are packaged, generally need to be stored in clean, cool environments to remain in good condition. Unfortunately, high heat from a fire can cause the packaging of many items, and the items themselves, to melt. As a result, smoke and soot can easily damage the cosmetics, making them unsafe to use.
After a fire, it’s often best to throw away the majority of food items in your home. Though some items may be visibly damaged, especially if the fire occurred in the kitchen, some pieces of food may appear to be unharmed. However, even if items are canned or wrapped up, smoke and soot can still affect the quality of food, and consuming food that has been harmed by soot or smoke damage can be hazardous. If you’re unsure whether or not food has been harmed, it’s generally best to discard the item.
Many medications need to be stored in relatively cool environments, and some medications may need to be stored in a refrigerator. During a fire, the temperature in a house can quickly rise. The high heat from a fire can damage the overall quality of the medication, which can ultimately make the medication ineffective and unsafe to consume. If you can document the medications that need to be replaced, you may be able to receive compensation from your insurance company.
Knowing that you may need to throw away cosmetics, food, and medication after a fire can help make the process of sorting through your belongings easier. Often, homeowners whose homes have sustained damage from fires find it useful to work with fire damage restoration experts.
Best Ways To Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home
If you have smoke damage in your Hazel Dell, WA home get in contact with a professional cleaning company
A lot can go wrong if a fire starts in your Hazel Dell, WA, 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 concerns.
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.
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.
Proactive Wild Land Fire Information
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.
If any type of fire disaster has affected your life, home or business, please call us.
SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049
More tips on how to avoid a wildfire.
Part 2 of 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 covered in smoke or soot after a wildfire.
SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049
Fixing Your Roof After Fire Damage: Three Helpful Tips
Electrical fire damage in a Ridgefield, WA home
If your Ridgefield, WA, business has recently suffered damage from a fire, there’s a good chance that your roof was affected. Approaching your roof repair in the best way is a crucial step in the fire cleanup process. Here are three tips that you can take to make the process easier on yourself.
1. Take Advantage of Tarp Services
Placing a temporary tarp on your roof is an excellent way to help keep the elements out of your property after a commercial fire. Take advantage of tarp services from fire damage companies who can install a high-quality tarp for you while you make repair plans.
2. Stay Away If the Building Is Unsafe
This may not seem like a typical repair tip, but you will be of no use in the fire cleanup process if you are injured by hazards present in a building that has not been cleared for reentry by the fire department. In some cases, flames can even build back up at the sight of a former fire. If you are not supposed to be on the property, stay away until the coast is clear.
3. Research Repair Companies
Make sure that the company making roof repairs knows what they are doing. Fire damage can range from holes cut by firefighters to help them during the fire process to destruction caused by the smoke and flames. In some cases a fire restoration company may be able to fix the damage, as well.
Fire cleanup is going to be an emotional process for you, especially when you have to think about the ways that any fire damage is affecting your business. Having a plan in place and using your best judgment where safety and repair decisions are concerned are important in order to get your roof fixed as soon as possible and get your employees back to work.
Avoiding Fires While Grilling
Cooking outdoors for friends and family is a special treat.
People in Vancouver, WA, and all over the country 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 http://www.SERVPROwvancouverclarkco.com/.
Cooking Safely to Avoid Fire and Smoke Damage
Cooking fires in Vancouver
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.
- Don't ever wear loose clothing while cooking
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Check food regularly and never leave the house
- Keep children away from the cooking area
- Keep any flammables far away from the cooking area
- Clean cooking area often to prevent grease buildup
- Purchase a Fire extinguisher and be properly trained
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed
- Make sure smoke alarms are installed on each level of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
3 Tips for Planning a Fire Escape Route for Your Home
Creating a fire escape plan for your Vancouver, WA, home can protect your family from imminent danger in case the worst should happen.
If a fire were to break out in your Vancouver, WA, home, getting yourself and your family to safety would probably be your top priority. Since fires can happen unexpectedly, having a pre-planned fire escape plan is a wise idea and may help every member of your family get out of the house quickly. If you are ready to create this type of safety plan, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to make it efficient, effective and simple.
1. Plan With the Family
Creating an emergency escape plan with your family present can ensure that everyone living in your home is prepared in case of a fire emergency. Gather everyone together when you have at least an hour to discuss a plan and allow everyone to contribute their ideas. When everyone is prepared and aware of the escape route, this can increase the chances of preventing a disaster if a fire breaks out.
2. Plan More Than One Route
According to the American Red Cross, you have about two minutes to escape your home once a fire starts. If the fire starts near where you have planned to exit or it spreads there, this can cause you to become trapped. To prevent this, you might want to add more than one egress to your fire escape plan. Consider both a front and back entrance escape, either a door or a window, that your family can use if the other is blocked by flames.
3. Have Your Home Inspected for Fire Hazards
While having an escape plan is wise, having your home professionally inspected for potential hazards can reduce the chances of you ever needing it. Have a fire damage and restoration company look over your home and ask their techs for advice about what you can do to make it less prone to fires.
Creating a fire escape plan for your Vancouver, WA, home can protect your family from imminent danger in case the worst should happen. Take time to create and test your plan to give yourself as much peace of mind as possible. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwvancouverclarkco.com/.
9 Smoke Odor Removal Musts
"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.
What To Do Before, During, and After A Fire
Contact your fire experts at SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. for further assistance in recovering from the fire @ (360) 695-4418
Before A Fire
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- 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.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- 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.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- 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 W. Vancouver / Clark Co. for further assistance in recovering from the fire @ (360) 695-4418.
Source: American Red Cross - National Sponsor of SERVPRO
Smoke Detectors Save Lives
Smoke Detectors Save Lives
- 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.
- Information provided curtosity of The American Red Cross
Protect Your Home From Wildfire
If your home or business is affected by smoke or fire damage call your local experts at SERVPRO of W. Vancouver & Clark Co. (360) 695-4418
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.
Recommended Firework Safety Tips
SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. is here to help 24/7 365 days a year @ (360) 695-4418
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) 695-4418
Why Hire SERVPRO For Smoke & Fire Damage?
Please call SERVPRO of E. Vancouver / Clark Co. 24/7 365 days a year! (360) 695-4418
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, 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. Please call SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. 24/7 365 days a year! (360) 695-4418
Home Fire Facts
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 $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 W. Vancouver/Clark Co. 360-254-0049