Recent Fire Damage Posts

Understanding Fire: Important steps to take after fire damage occurs

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Flame graphic with orange background Call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland NOW at 503-SERVPRO if you have fire damage in your home or business!

STOP! If you have fire or smoke damage in your property right now, call us at 503-SERVPRO RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait to mitigate - the longer damage sits unattended, the more likely it will develop secondary damage. Call us at 503-SERVPRO now.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland understands the devastation a fire has on a residential home or commercial business. We understand the journey of trying to return back to normal after a home or business has fire damage.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we’re passionate about spreading emergency preparedness awareness. We’ve written five blogs on this topic, What to know if fire occurs in your home or business, What to remember when building a fire escape plan, How smoke detection tools can save lives, How to stay safe while evacuating, and How residents can plan around mobility and functional concerns.

For our next installment in our Understanding Fire series, we’re highlighting the importance of what to do after a fire occurs in your home or business.

After a fire occurs in a building, there are a few things you may need or want to consider.

  • If you need temporary housing, food and medicines, consider contacting local disaster relief services, such as The Red Cross.
  • If you are insured, contact your insurance company or your insurance agent for detailed instructions on protecting the property and conducting inventory. They will advise you to contact a fire damage restoration company of your choice to provide emergency restoration services, or EMG services. To read more about our SERVPRO’s EMG services, visit our blog on our Priority Response team here.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
  • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. A reputable restoration company will assist you in this matter.
  • Try to locate valuable documents and records.
  • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to the fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
  • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

Whether or not you choose SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, a reputable restoration company will assist you through this process. At our company, our Priority Response Team are experts on navigating the fire recovery and restoration process, and they are always available to assist or advise.

If you sustain fire or smoke damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland at 503-283-3658

Sources: Ready.gov

Understanding Fire: How Portland residents can plan around mobility and functional disabilities

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

disabled and fire graphic against orange. Call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland NOW at 503-SERVPRO if you have fire damage in your home or business!

STOP! If you have fire or smoke damage in your property right now, call us at 503-SERVPRO RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait to mitigate - the longer damage sits unattended, the more likely it will develop secondary damage. Call us at 503-SERVPRO now.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland understands the devastation a fire has on a residential home or commercial business. We understand the journey of trying to return back to normal after a home or business has fire damage.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we’re passionate about spreading emergency preparedness awareness. We’ve written four blogs on this topic, What to know if fire occurs in your home or business, What to remember when building a fire escape plan, How smoke detection tools can save lives, and How to stay safe while evacuating.

For our next installment in our Understanding Fire series, we’re highlighting the importance of fire prevention and preparedness for older adults or those with access and functional needs.

Those with accessibility issues or functional needs can be affected by various different things, such as a hindered ability to get around or move quickly; diminished or absent senses, whether that is vision, hearing or smell; as well as medical conditions that require aids or medication to function.

For those with functional or accessibility needs, it’s important for themselves and their community to understand the different measures that need to be taken to ensure their safety in fire emergency situations.

According to Ready.gov, those with functional needs will be safest if they arrange to live and sleep near an exit. If those individuals live in a two story building or an apartment, securing a ground floor unit or arranging to sleep on the first floor near an exit is their safest choice.

If individuals have a walker or a wheelchair, it is advised that they make sure each exit is checked for ease of use for those with mobility aids. 

For fire safety, it is not only important to ensure accessibility accommodations on the main entrance, but at emergency evacuation exits as well, if possible. Speak with family members, building managers, or neighbors about fire safety plans and practice with them.

For evacuation concerns for those with accessibility and functional needs, they’re encouraged to contact their fire department’s non-emergency line and explain their special needs. They should be able to ask the emergency providers to keep their special needs information on file.

Lastely, keep an active and well charged phone near the bed and be ready to call 9-1-1 if a fire occurs. 

Remember: fire travels fast and can grow into a major fire in under 30 seconds. Always be ready, and plan for the worst case scenario. 

If you sustain fire or smoke damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland at 503-283-3658.

Sources: Ready.gov

Understanding Fire: How to stay safe while evacuating a Portland fire

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

red flame against an orange background, person running through door graphic Call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland NOW at 503-SERVPRO if you have fire damage in your home or business!

STOP! If you have fire or smoke damage in your property right now, call us at 503-SERVPRO RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait to mitigate - the longer damage sits unattended, the more likely it will develop secondary damage. Call us at 503-SERVPRO now.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland understands the devastation a fire has on a residential home or commercial business. We also understand the struggle of trying to return back to normal life after your home or business sustains fire damage.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we are passionate about spreading emergency preparedness awareness. We’ve written three blogs on this topic, What to know if fire occurs in your home or business, What to remember when building a fire escape plan, and How smoke detection tools can save lives

For our next installment in our Understanding Fire series, we’re highlighting the importance of what to do during a fire event.

When a fire occurs in your home or business, it can develop fast, and it can often be the smoke and poisonous gases from burning materials that causes death and injury - not always direct exposure to flame. Smoke and gases will collect along the ceiling before dropping lower as the fire develops. Keep low as you evacuate, and crawl to safety if you need to.

Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, or if there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.

If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.

If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located. 

If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.

If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out. Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or flashlight.

If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll - stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out. If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel. Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

If you would like to learn more about fire preparedness, please visit Ready.gov.

If you experience fire or smoke damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland as soon as practical, at 503-283-3658.

Sources: Ready.gov

Understanding Fire: How smoke alarms save lives in Portland home fires

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

smoke detector graphic over a flame graphic Call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland NOW at 503-SERVPRO if you have fire damage in your home or business!

STOP! If you have fire or smoke damage in your property right now, call us at 503-SERVPRO RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait to mitigate - the longer damage sits unattended, the more likely it will develop secondary damage. Call us at 503-SERVPRO now.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland understands the devastation a fire has on a residential home or commercial business. We also understand the struggle of trying to return back to normal life after your home or business sustains fire damage.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we are passionate about spreading emergency preparedness awareness. We’ve written two blogs on this topic, What to know if fire occurs in your Portland home or business, and What to remember when building a fire escape plan

For our next installment in our Understanding Fire series, we’re highlighting the importance of fire detection tools.

Did you know that 40% of home fire deaths occur in homes that do not have a smoke alarm? Additionally, for fires where a smoke alarm was present but did not operate, 43% of those smoke alarms simply had missing or disconnected batteries.

Having functional smoke alarms in your home drastically increases your chance of surviving a home fire. If you do not have smoke alarms, it is encouraged that you install them as soon as possible. Please read below for crucial information on how to operate and maintain your home’s smoke detectors.

  • It is encouraged that you install both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test batteries in your smoke alarms on a monthly basis.
  • Replace batteries in battery-powered and hard-wired smoke alarms at least once a year (except non-replaceable 10-year lithium batteries).
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8-10 years or according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking - it can be a deadly mistake.

Smoke alarm safety for people with access or functional needs:

  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause with a small window of silence between each successive cycle so that they can listen to instructions or voices of others.
  • Smoke alarms with a vibrating pad or flashing light are available for the hearing impaired. Contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms with a strobe light outside the home to catch the attention of neighbors, and emergency call systems for summoning help, are also available. 

If you would like to learn more about fire preparedness, please visit Ready.gov.

If you experience fire or smoke damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland as soon as practical, at 503-283-3658.

Sources: Ready.gov, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org)

Understanding fire: What to remember when building an escape plan for your Portland home or business

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

clip art image of flame with text that reads: fire evacuation plans Call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland NOW at 503-SERVPRO if you have fire damage in your home or business!

STOP! If you have fire or smoke damage in your property right now, call us at 503-SERVPRO RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait to mitigate - the longer damage sits unattended, the more likely it will develop secondary damage. Call us at 503-SERVPRO now.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we understand the devastation fires can have on homes and businesses. We also understand the devastation and the struggle of trying to build your life back up after your home or business sustains fire damage.

Preparedness advocacy is a large part of what we do here at SERVPRO, and in light of the recent coverage of the fires in Australia, we wanted to share crucial information to remember if your home or business ever experiences a fire.

In the event of a fire occurring in your home or business, remember that every second counts. It’s important to always be prepared - the first thing you should have ready for a fire event is an escape plan. 

Ready.Gov, the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, advises that families and businesses have a fire escape plan and practice it on average twice each year. When creating an escape plan for your home or business, remember the following:

  • Fine two ways to get out of each room in the event the primary way is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • A secondary route might be a window onto a neighboring roof or a collapsible ladder for escape from upper story windows. 
  • Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened. 
  • Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with your eyes closed. 
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters. 

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland will be sharing more helpful information regarding the dangers of fires to residential homes and businesses in the coming weeks. To ready our previous blogs on fire, click here.

Stay tuned for further information on how to prepare, respond, and rebuild after a fire. If you have smoke or fire damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO NOW at 503-283-3658.

Sources: Ready.Gov

Understanding fire: What to know if fire occurs in your Portland home or business

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

flame icon sitting inside frame with text that says understanding fire Call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland NOW at 503-SERVPRO.

STOP! If you have fire or smoke damage in your property right now, call us at 503-SERVPRO RIGHT NOW. Don’t wait to mitigate - the longer damage sits unattended, the more likely it will develop secondary damage. Call us at 503-SERVPRO now.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, our thoughts are with Australia as they work to contain the bushfires sweeping their country. We understand the devastation of wildfires, having traveled to California in recent years to assist families and businesses recover from them. We also understand the devastation and the struggle of trying to build your life back up after your home or business sustains fire damage. 

Preparedness advocacy is a large part of what we do here at SERVPRO, and in light of the recent coverage of the fires in Australia, we wanted to share crucial information to remember if your home or business ever experiences a fire.

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room Temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin. 
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts brights, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio. 

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland will be sharing more helpful information regarding the dangers of fires to residential homes and businesses in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for further information on how to prepare, respond, and rebuild after a fire. If you have smoke or fire damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO NOW at 503-283-3658.

Sources: Ready.Gov, The American Red Cross

Deodorizing your property after a fire damage

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland is an expert on restoring properties after fire damage. The first thing you think of is cleaning the debris, soot, and char damage – but the damage that can linger the longest is the smell. This is why a huge part of our restoration process after a fire is deodorization.

There are a few ways we can do this. For textiles and clothing, we have two large commercial washing machines that can deep clean large loads. If textiles still need odors removed after washing, we have what we call an “Ozone room.” An Ozone room is a containment area where contents can be stored over night where they will be deodorized using an unstable oxygen molecule. Ozone is able to destroy odor particles in materials through oxidation, and works wonders for organic odors and fire odors. It takes time to work, and must be set to operate when no persons are around.

Since SERVPRO of Northwest Portland has moved to our new 64,000 square foot warehouse in the St. John’s neighborhood in Portland, we are building an even bigger Ozone Room. This enables our SERVPRO to be able to take on any size fire damage. If you ever find yourself in the aftermath of a fire incident, no matter the size, call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland to handle your restoration needs.

Does your Portland area home have a Fire Evacuation plan in place?

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

A fire escaping through a home's chimney. Always be prepared for a fire in your home.

This month, SERVPRO of NW Portland’s Sales and Marketing team taught a class called “Property Fire Damage Restoration for Loss Control” as a continuing education course for insurance agents in the local Portland area. During that class, we found that majority of homeowners and renters have an idea on what they would do if a fire occurs, but many of them do not have an actual plan. As Fire Restoration Professionals, we believe it is important to take a few minutes to visualize and formulate a Fire Evacuation Plan to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

An evacuation plan would include:

  • Be ready to report fire to emergency responders.
  • Be aware of emergency exits – always have at least two ways out, including windows and doors.
  • Check smoke alarms – ensure that they are properly placed and working.
  • Involve children in planning – consider having your children help create a fire evacuation plan.
  • Choose a meeting spot – decide a meeting place near the property, such as a neighbor’s house, mailbox, or stop sign, where residents can meet at after evacuating. Agree to not go back in the house after you leave.
  • Practice and review the plan regularly.

 You can be one step ahead when the unexpected may occur. After the fire is out, reach out to your local SERVPRO to mitigate and restore you home!

 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Steps To Fire Restoration

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

A home fire is one of the most devastating things a family can go through. SERVPRO of Northwest Portland understands and is here to help.

No family wants to think about a fire ravishing their home and personal belongings, but it is always good to understand the process of restoration should this unfortunate event ever occur in your life. There are several crucial steps to restoration that any victim of fire damage needs to walk through as they traverse the road to recovery.

Step one is to contact your insurance provider. Generally speaking, most insurance policies contain provisions for employing a restoration contractor to help with the clean-up and restoration of the home.

In the second step, the restoration company that you choose to partner with will need to remove water from the structure. If moisture is not eliminated in short order, mold will very quickly become an issue. Depending on how severe the fire was and how much water was used in firefighting efforts, the removal of the water can take a few hours up to several days.  

If the fire was such that the home was a total loss, then the second step will be to level the building and clean and haul away debris. In this step, the restoration company working with you will be able to ascertain what can be saved and what will need to be disposed of.

When the debris has been removed, the restoration contractor will use special ozone machine to remove all traces of smoke odor as well as remove charred and unusable materials from the structure. Their final job will be to clean the floors and walls and prepare it for the reconstruction phase. The final step will be reconstruction. A reputable restoration company will work with you and your insurance provider to create a sound reconstruction plan to get your back into your home, once again.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet. 

Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. We always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 503-283-3658

Choosing a Fire Restoration Service for Your Portland Business

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

When your business is on the line, you need a reliable fire damage restoration service provider!

Despite the fact that fire safety education has become more common in recent years, accidental fires continue to be alarmingly common. The National Fire Protection agency reports that a fire requiring assistance from the local fire department occurs on average of every 24 seconds. Both residential and commercial sectors and equally affected, requiring professional commercial restoration efforts.

According to the NFPA, the annual average of structure fires affecting educational institutions between 2012 and 2016 was approximately 4900. During this period, around 2700 fires affected industrial facilities and over 6000 fires were reported to have occurred in health care and medical offices.  

Although most of these fires did not result it fatalities, they did result in tens of millions of dollars in damages and loss. The financial burden is sometimes so great that is forces a business owner to close shop after a major fire disaster.

Commercial fire restoration service providers help to ensure that a fire disaster does not lead to bankruptcy.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Defined

Commercial fire damage restoration is a crucial service for a business that has recently suffered a fire loss. The level of service needed will reflect the size and scope of the damage left by the fire. For example, the damage left by a fire may only be cosmetic, requiring the walls to be treated and furniture replaced, but there are other unseen issues that will require addressing. Smoke can seep into the walls, woodwork and carpeting and leave a pervasive and caustic smell that will require professional equipment and processes to remove.

When a fire causes structural damage, the process is much more labor intensive. A fire can close down a business for months, or even years, depending on the severity. A commercial fire restoration service provider can greatly decrease the time a business has to close down. A good provider will work in concert with your insurance provider and adjustor, as well as make sure nothing gets missed in the restoration process.

Selecting a service provider

Regardless of the severity of fire damage your business is facing, it is crucial to find a trustworthy and reliable partner in fire restoration. SERVPRO of Northwest Portland is a full service commercial fire restoration provider with a verifiable track record. Our team of professional IICRC certified technicians are poised and ready, 27/7.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland is locally owned and operated—so we are part of the Portland community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to large-scale disasters. When your business is on the line, we will be your fire restoration heroes in green. Call us today. We are always here to help. 503-283-3658

Three things to remember when navigating a fire insurance claim

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland can help you after a fire. Call us today. 503-283-3658
  1. You do not have to go this alone! SERVPRO of Northwest Portland deals with fire restoration every day. We have helped countless families and businesses navigate the ins and outs of their insurance claims after a fire disaster. We will walk with you, step by step, through the entire process. From initial filing, to working with your adjuster to returning to your newly restored home of business.
  1. Stay Proactive! Turn off utilities such as your electrical, gas and any other pertinent utilities. Make sure that the fire is completely out and nothing has been allowed to continue to smolder. Board up entries to prevent vandalism and theft. Finally, keep a close eye on the developing situation to be aware of any additional issues that may arise. Make sure to keep track of expenses and retain all related receipts. Your insurance company may be reimbursing you for the cost of fire related expenses, depending on the provisions made in your policy.
  1. File Your Claims ASAP! All insurance policies with require you to report your losses as soon as possible or within a reasonable time frame. Shortly after contacting your insurance provider, you will be required to submit a claim. Make sure to keep account of all communications. As mentioned above, SERVPRO of Northwest Portland can help you with this entire process and is your ally and advocate in this time of crisis.

If you are faced with the difficulty of a fire loss at your home or business, call us today and we will help you get the ball rolling. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help make it “Like it never even happened”. 503-283-3658

10 Ways To Prevent a House Fire In Your Portland Home

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

If your family has suffered a fire loss, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of NW Portland immediately to learn more about how we can help.

Your home is a sacred space. It a place to raise a family, entertain guest and create lifelong memories. The idea of this special place ever befalling a house fire is frightening.

Life is unpredictable, and it is not always possible to know the future, but there are ways that you, as a homeowner, can be proactive to prevent a house fire in your home.

10 Ways to Prevent a House Fire in Your Portland Home

  1. Check smoke alarms frequently – According to the US Fire Administration, your smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month and your batteries should be replaced at least twice a year. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  2. Inspect all sources of heat - Whether it is a central heating system, a wood stove or a space heater, all sources of heat in your home should be checked annually by a professional.
  3. Keep oven and stove top clean and free of debris - A dirty stove can be a fire hazard. The bits of food a debris left behind after you last dinner party can result in disaster if left unchecked. Always keep your cooking area clean and free from potentially flammable materials (oven gloves, plastic utensils, paper towels, etc.)
  4. Do not leave kitchen unattended - It only takes a few seconds for a fire to start. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove first. A house fire is not worth a few seconds of saved time.
  5. Maintain your clothes dryer - Most dryers should be thoroughly inspected on an annual basis. Dryer hoses can become inundated with flammable lint and should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. Additionally, always keep the lint trap cleaned out and make sure no extra lint or clothing items have become trapped behind your dryer.
  6. Keep electrical cords maintained – Electrical cords can become a fire hazard when they become old and frayed. Always inspect power cords prior to plugging them into a power source.
  7. Store flammable materials safely – Certain household and cosmetic items can become a fire hazard when stored near a heat source such as a space heater or exposed to a hot hair dryer. Use caution when storing these items.
  8. Use candles safely – Although candles are lovely, they can quickly turn disastrous if left unchecked. Make sure to extinguish candles before leaving a room or drifting off to sleep. Always keep your pets away from burning candles.
  9. Use caution when using your fireplace - Do not allow any sparks to escape into the rest of your home. Make sure there is a properly functioning door between the flames and your flooring. A fire should never be left unattended and should be OUT prior to leaving your home for an outing. Additionally, ashes should be disposed of in a metal receptacle designed for that purpose.
  10. Keep fire extinguishers maintained and available – Fire extinguishers are your best defense in the event of an accidental fire. There should be a fire extinguisher available in every room where fire is a potential hazards, particularly in the kitchen and garage. Additionally, all residents of the home should be properly trained on how to operate fire extinguisher.

Fire safety is EVERYBODY’S Job. Losing everything to a house fire is one of the most devastating events that can happen to a family. Your home is filled with lifelong precious memories. You owe to yourself and your family to protect it to the best of your ability.

If your family has suffered a fire loss, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of NW Portland immediately to learn more about how we can help with the process of restoration. We see this on a daily basis. We have the tools, knowledge and highly trained IICRC certified staff to navigate your through the process of recovery. 503-283-3658

4 Steps To Fire Odor Removal

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

The smoke is gone, but the smell continues to linger. SERVPRO of NW Portland can help!

Have you recently had a small, non-emergency or life threatening fire in your Portland home? Maybe you had a minor kitchen fire mishap or perhaps a few of your decorative holiday lights sparked a little flame that you had to douse with water or maybe your clothes dryer malfunctioned. You managed to get the fire out with minimal damage, but now you are left with a persistent smoke smell throughout your home that just doesn’t want to go away. 

Every fire scenario has its own set of challenges contingent on the severity of the fire. The size and temperature of the fire will dictate how easily the smoke odor can be removed. Higher temperatures will cause the pores of the surrounding material to open up and absorb more odor. Proper post fire odor removal requires a battery of techniques that include cleaning, deodorizing and sealing the materials in question.  

Here are the 4 steps to removing odor after a fire:

Step 1- Removal and proper disposal of all burned and charred materials. If the materials remain, so will the smell. If some of the materials cannot be removed, such as structural members, a sealant will need to be applied to lock in the odors.

Step 2- Installation of air filtration device, equipped with a carbon activated system. HEPA filters are not adequate to remove smoke smell. Carbon filters are needed to absorb and trap the gasses and odors.

Step 3- Thoroughly clean all affected and surrounding areas. Wet cleaning or the use of water should be avoided at this stage. All soots and dust will need to be removed. A shop vac or comparable unit should be used in this stage. After the larger particles have been removed, a thorough dry- chem sponge (available at most hardware stores) cleaning should be done.

Step 4- Spray deodorizers throughout the affected area. The goal of this step is to penetrate the pores of the affected surfaces with a quality deodorizing agent. A product specifically designed for smoke damage should be employed during this step. Follow the instructions that come with the product. The product should be allowed to absorb into the affected area and do its job. When the chemical has had a chance to dry, you should be able to quickly assess the situation and see (smell?) if these steps were adequate to remove the unwelcome smell in your home. If the smell continues to linger, you may have a bigger problem than you anticipated. The fire may have burned hotter and more severely, causing the smell to get into harder to reach areas and structural members. A professional should be contacted. Your home may require a thermal fogging treatment.

For larger fires, or even a small fire that leaves a persistent and lingering smoke smell despite your best efforts to remove them, a reputable fire restoration contractor should be contacted. Here at SERVPRO of NW Portland, we see all sorts of fire disasters and our crew of experts are available 24/7 to address your particular fire related disaster. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We are always here to help. 503-283-3658   

Why You Need a Professional Fire Restoration Company

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Think twice before attempting to do the work of a fire restoration professional.

If your Portland home was recently involved in a fire, you may be hoping to handle the situation yourself to save some money and avoid costly repairs. Unfortunately, the variables and complexities involved with fire restoration may be a bit much for the layman. Below, we explore several reasons why it is in your best interest to hire a reputable fire restoration contractor such as SERVPRO of NW Portland.

Health & Safety

You may feel that you are free from danger after the flames have been extinguished. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

When plastic, textiles, rubber and finished wood burns, it creates soot that contains many toxic particulars.

Particles containing asbestos, tar, formaldehyde, ammonia and other harmful materials float through the air and are not always visible to the naked eye. Exposure to these materials should be avoided, as they can cause a number of health problems ranging from asthma all the way to bronchitis and cancer.

During the cleanup process, exposure to these particles are at its highest, but unless the area has been cleaned adequately by a professional, adverse health effects of the smoke can persist for years to come. It’s not worth the risk to you or your family.

Specialized Equipment Is Needed

Some rags and a bottle of degreaser is not adequate enough to clean up after a fire disaster. Soot cannot merely be wiped away. All surfaces will need to be deep cleaned to eliminate the health risks and caustic odors lingering throughout the area. Professional tools and knowledgeable technicians with proper training are needed to thoroughly and safely restore the area.

It is also of note that washing smoke damaged clothing and textiles in a standard consumer level washing machine can potentially cause more damage and leave unwanted odors in your machine. Dry cleaning is your best option if you wish to salvage clothing that has been in a fire.

You Could Unintentionally Dispose of Salvageable Items & Valuables

An untrained layman could potentially throw out items that appear to be beyond repair or restoration. SERVPRO of NW Portland utilizes advanced recovery techniques and employs a full time contents department dedicated to restoring damaged valuables after a fire disaster and has a state of the art facility outfitted with specialized equipment designed specifically for this purpose. In addition to restoring your salvageable items, the items deemed unsalvageable will be disposed of in a proper manor, minimizing unwanted health hazards.

The Process of Restoration is Complicated

Restoring your home or business to a preloss condition is not as straightforward as it initially appears. There are contents to salvage and dispose of, cleaning and abating and structural repair. Additionally, insurance claims will need to be navigated to decrease the financial impact of the damage. Efforts to save a buck by attempting this work yourself could potentially cost more money if salvageable items are disposed of and insurance claims are not properly handled. A trustworthy and reputable fire restoration contractor who is familiar with the ins and outs of the entire process of restoration is a far better option.

Contact SERVPRO of NW Portland Today

 After the fire trucks are gone, your Portland home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Northwest Portland has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet. 

Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. We always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (503) 283-3658

Summertime Fire Safety Tips

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire can be a great part of summertime. Just make sure to keep it safe!

Summer is finally here! For a lot of us in the Portland area, this is the best time of the year. After months of rain and dark, Portland can finally come out of hibernation and enjoy some much anticipated sunshine. With the summer comes some of our favorite activities, such as outdoor grilling, fireworks and bonfires. No matter where you enjoy your summer activities, safety should always be a high priority. Preventing a fire accident is far easier than investing in fire and water restoration in the aftermath of such an accident. We’ve put together a few tips to make your summer activities not only fun and memorable, but also safe.

  1. Always have water or a fire extinguisher on hand. When you are having a campfire, or backyard fire pit, it’s always a good idea to keep a bucket of water or hose nearby. Sometimes sparks and flammable materials can fly out of the fire. Having water nearby means you will be able to respond quickly to keep the fire under control.
  1. Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision. Everyone loves sparklers and pinweels, but the reality is, they can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Keep a close eye on children when fireworks are involved. It only takes a split second for a fun fourth of July to turn into a life altering disaster. Additionally, never try to relight faulty fireworks or sparklers. All fireworks and sparklers should be disposed of in a bucket of water.
  1. Maintain your gas or charcoal grill. Over time, grease and other flammable materials can build up on your grill. To help prevent a possible grease fire, always maintain your grills and keep them clean.
  1. Survey your surroundings prior to lighting a fire or grill. Make sure there is nothing flammable directly adjacent to the fire. This includes deck railings, branches, dry grass or wood. You should also NEVER start a grill indoors or directly under your home’s eaves or soffits. Additionally, when starting a camp fire, take care to clear the area around where you will be starting the fire and make certain there are no dry materials that could catch fire from a nearby spark. Check your local municipalities to ensure that a campfire ban in not in effect in your area.  
  1. Always completely extinguish a fire or grill. When you are finished with your fire or using your grill, always make certain that it is completely out. Grills and fires can quickly become a serious disaster when left unsupervised.

Fires, grilling and fireworks are all a part a fun summertime experience, but remember to be smart and safe so that everyone can have an enjoyable experience. SERVPRO of NW Portland wishes everyone a safe and happy summer having fun and making memories. If you follow these tips, you may never need to call us for fire restoration, but do remember, we are always here when you need us. 503-283-3658

What To Do After a House Fire

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of NW Portland can help you navigate the sometimes scary situations after a house fire. We are always here to help.

A house fire can be one of the most devastating events to occur in the life of a homeowner. In an attempt to save money, insurance companies will actively look for ways to penny-pinch fire insurance claims. It is likely you have lost a tremendous amount of personal belongings and have suffered a substantial amount of mental anguish. You don’t need an insurance company giving you grief about your claim. Here are a few tips that you can proactively implement in the event of a fire loss.

Review your policy

You may have replacement coverage for you home, but it may only be for “actual cash value” for your lost personal items. Upon contacting your insurance company, the agent should be able to tell you about this and may suggest purchasing an endorsement to ensure that your personal belongs will, in fact be covered under a replacement policy.

Secure Your Property

Most homeowner’s coverage policies require the insured to make reasonable efforts to minimize secondary damage to their property. Without getting overly complicated, this is what is known as your duty to mitigate damages. These are usually simple items such as covering exposed areas with plastic or shutting off the water main in the event of a burst pipe. It is likely that you will be reimbursed for any expense incurred when you start your claim.

Immediately File Your Claim.

All homeowner policies require that you report the damage as soon as possible. Your first step is to submit a “proof of loss” claim to your agent. This document will consist of an itemized list your losses and the value of each item. The longer you put off this step, the longer it will take your insurance company to send an adjuster to address your claim.

Record Your Living Expenses

All homeowner’s policies contain a “loss of use” clause which entitles the insured to be reimbursed for additional living expenses incurred while their home is uninhabitable. Be mindful that these expenses only include additional living expenses, meaning the difference between your normal expenses and what it is costing your while you are kept from your home. An example of this would be If your families normal food budget is $600, but due to your circumstance, your family spends $750 in a week by going out to eat, you can claim that additional $150.

Fire damage remediation is a long process, and navigating your insurance can prove to be difficult without the correct knowledge. Regardless of if you have experienced a small kitchen fire or a complete burn down, you will need an experienced restoration company to help assess the damage. SERVPRO of NW Portland is ready when fire strikes, 24/7. Our team of highly trained, IIRC certified professionals see this every day. Let us be your partner in the road to recovery. Call us today. 503-283-3658 We are always here to help.

Understanding the Process of Fire Restoration

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Soot on the walls after a fire in this Portland business.

Following a fire, the restoration process should get underway immediately. Waiting will only increase the chances of secondary damage or cause already existing damage from smoke and water to increase. Many times, a home can be restored to its original condition. SERVPRO of NW Portland is an IIRC certified company and our technicians are well equipped to make your Portland area home of business “Like It Never Happened.”

Fire restoration involves the repair of anything within the building that has been damaged by fire, smoke of water. Flooring may undergo chemical processes to remove the odor of smoke. The sub floor will be inspected to find anything that may need replacement. Upholstery, curtains and furnishings may be taken to our advanced facility to be restored to a preloss condition by our contents department. The entire structure will be aired out for as long as may be needed to remove the effects of odor and smoke. Deodorization efforts will continue throughout the entire process. The team at SERVPRO of NW Portland is also well versed in walking you through the insurance process and working with your insurance provider.  

Portland's Soot & Fire Remediation Specialists

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Extensive soot and smoke damage in Portland area daycare

Following a structure fire, much of the damage caused by smoke and soot is not immediately detectable and can remain hidden inside the walls and in cracks and crevices throughout the building. The crew at SERVPRO of NW Portland has the training and expertise to methodically investigate and appraise the contamination and develop and effective and efficient remediation strategy.

Smoke and soot residue:

  • Sweltering smoke tends to transmigrate to cooler areas and rises to the top of the building.
  • Smoke will infiltrate into plumbing systems, moving from floor to floor indiscriminately through conduits and ducts throughout the walls of the structure.
  • Different categories of smoke can influence the cleaning and rehabilitation process.

Categories of Smoke

Generally speaking, smoke will either fall under two categories; wet or dry. Consequently, there are different categories of soot residue following a structure fire. Prior to commencement, SERVPRO of NW Portland will perform an analysis on the soot residue to ascertain the category of smoke damage in the home. A specific cleaning plan will then be developed utilizing the data collected during pretesting. Some additional information regarding smoke residue:

Wet smoke – oil based compounds (plastics/ rubber)

  • Lower heat, prone to smoldering, foul smelling, glutinous and tacky, waxy. Wet smoke can create “smoke webs” which are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – organic materials (paper/ wood)

  • Burns quickly at high temperatures. Heat rises and consequently, so does smoke.

Protein Fire Residue – Caused by evaporation of materials as a result of the fire’s heat

  • Practically invisible. Causes discoloration of painted and finished surfaces. Intense pungent stench.

Our Fire Restoration Services

Due to the variances and unpredictable nature of a structure fire, each situation demands a particular solution and course of action to accommodate that particular scenario. SERVPRO of NW Portland stands at the forefront of the fire restoration service industry in terms of time honored expertise and experience as well as state of the art remediation equipment. You and your family will be treated with empathy and respect throughout the entire process and your property will be treated with the utmost regard.

Additional questions regarding Fire, smoke & soot damage? We would be happy to talk with you!

Call SERVPRO of NW Portland Today – 503-283-3658

Cooking Fires And Subsequent Fire Damage In Your St. Johns Kitchen

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Even if a kitchen fire blazes for only a short time and efforts to extinguish it succeed, the smoke can ruin your kitchen.

Fire Damage In Your Kitchen

A favorite activity of many residents in St. Johns, cooking lets us show off our skill and our personalities. It also brings friends and family together, teaches our children a vital but fundamental skill, and promotes our health.

St. Johns part-time chefs can protect their kitchens from fire damage by exercising caution when frying foods. Oils can quickly ignite, creating instantaneous flames that can spread quickly. If this happens, turn off the stove's burners as quickly as possible. Using water in attempts to extinguish such fires rarely ends well. Instead, cover the pot to suffocate the flames, or toss several boxes of baking soda on a blazing skillet, which can extinguish the fire, if you act quickly enough.

However, it takes a tremendous amount of baking soda to accomplish this feat. The mistaken use of baking powder, or worse, flour, can create even more problems, as these ignite when exposed to too much heat. Smoking heavily, oil gives off a warning sign when becoming too hot, so reducing the temperature can effectively prevent a grease fire.

Even if a kitchen fire blazes for only a short time and efforts to extinguish it succeed, the smoke can ruin your kitchen. However, the technicians at SERVPRO combine extensive experience with intensive training, so your home always receives the protection it deserves. We can clean your kitchen and adjacent areas in your home, so it sparkles once again. Making homes feel clean and bright again, so homeowners feel “Like it never even happened” makes our work fulfilling and highly worthwhile.

At times, structural damage to the home occurs because of a fire that raged out of control and spread, but we are always ready for such disasters. Cleaning these situations up to restoring your home through repairs or replacements makes it safe once again to enjoy cooking and providing others with delicious food from your kitchen. Removing the sooty deposits means no malodorous remnants remain to ruin the taste of your food, either.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland can be contacted at our local number, (503) 283-3658, any day of the year, and at any hour. We care about those in our community and helping ensure that each family can engage in their daily activities without interruption remains one of our goals.

Click here for more about St. Johns.

Wildfire Damage from Smoke and Soot in the Portland Area

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

Trust SERVPRO for Smoke & Fire Damage Cleanup in the Portland Area

Odor Removal and Fire & Smoke Restoration Are SERVPRO Cornerstones of Service After Portland Wildfires

Residents of our community can be despondent and fearful as the wildfires of 2017 consume acres of scenic Oregon. Dozens of fires are currently burning, traveling swiftly and changing directions because of historic dry conditions and high winds. The possibility that your home or business could be at risk for significant smoke and soot damage is real.

Wildfires in the Cascades and the Columbia River Gorge create excessive amounts of ash, soot, and smoke, infiltrating buildings and coating vehicles and property. Even dwellings untouched by flames in the Portland area experience fire damage, soot and smoke deposits soiling the interiors of homes and adversely affecting indoor air quality. Our core business is fire damage restoration, and our crews are ready to help your home recover from this widespread disaster.

Smoke and soot damage is very corrosive, requiring a fast response. Our SERVPRO is a local company committed to the well-being of our community, and able to react quickly because of our nationwide network of franchises. We have access to technicians trained extensively in advanced smoke and soot cleanup techniques and a range of cutting edge equipment and tools that make our work crews even more efficient.

Managing the damage done by soot and smoke requires the experience and schooling possessed by our team of IICRC certified workers. These FST fire and smoke restoration technicians are deliberate in their choice of cleaning products and tools and tenacious in their quest to remove all traces of soiling due to the wildfires. Light coatings can be dry sponged, vacuumed and dusted away, while sticky soot layers respond better to careful scrubbing, sometimes with abrasives. We try to eliminate all stains, and when necessary, prime coat salvageable building materials. We also use immersion options for intricate articles like blinds that are hard to clean in other ways, and ultrasonic machines that must be operated by our certified technicians. For cleaning and storing possessions and belongings, we offer a pack-out service.

Our SERVPRO arsenal also includes odor-busting technology. A clean home is of little value if it smells strongly of smoke. Our deodorization specialists have many methods and tools at their disposal to eradicate even persistent odors. If thorough cleaning and sealing products only take the edge off a smoky smell, we move to airborne strategies like professional spray deodorants, thermal foggers, ozone machines and hydroxyl generators. You can rely on our OCT odor control trained technicians.

If your property needs wildfire damage restoration help, SERVPRO of Northwest Portland is eager and ready to lend a hand. Schedule an assessment at (503) 283-3658, and a well equipped and trained team of restoration specialists can arrive within hours.

Fire and First Responder Tips and Information Here

Fire Damage Can Affect More than Exterior Walls in a Portland Residence

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Restores Portland Homes Damaged by Electrical Fires and More

Portland Fires Cause Problems to Wiring and Plumbing Inside Walls

Any size fire can be traumatizing, including small fires in the bathroom or kitchen, simply because of how quickly a fire can spread. Even smaller, more localized fires that are easily extinguished without help from the fire department can still pose problems later on, however. Fires do not have to become large before they can cause damage to the rest of the home.
 
The heat produced by the flames can also cause fire damage to Portland properties. When the wiring inside walls is affected by heat, this can cause damage to that wiring. If that installation happens to provide electricity to other rooms, the damage can cause problems later. Also, it might not only be the fire that creates a problem, but also any water that is used to extinguish a fire.
 
Firefighters' hoses blast water at a high-pressure level when battling fires, and this can produce enough of an impact that water becomes saturated inside walls and ceilings. Steam is produced in large amounts as water hits burning materials, traveling just as far as water can, and penetrating into locations even more easily than it does in its liquid form.
 
SERVPRO technicians are educated and trained in IICRC approved methods. We know that checking the wiring well can reveal any corroded areas in your home's electrical system. When corrosion is located, wiring must be replaced to ensure that there is no elevated risk of future fires. We work with qualified electricians, so your home receives the services required to restore everything promptly. When plumbing has been affected by fire or heat, we ensure that this aspect of your home is also repaired.
 
We know your family does not want to wait an additional week, or even a single day, longer than what they need to before returning home after a disaster as terrible as a house fire. Ensuring that plumbing, electrical wiring, and anything else that needs repair work is all done so that everything is finished around the same time is important to your family and us as well.
 
SERVPRO of Northwest Portland can be reached at any time, day or night, by calling our local number (503) 283-3658. We can help you and your family by restoring your home, so the fire soon becomes only a distant memory. "Like it never even happened."

Fires can have hidden monetary costs. click

Portland Area Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/11/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Portland Area Home

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a 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.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–dry and wet. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Northwest Portland will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Different Types of Smoke
  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy, respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (503) 283-3658 SERVPRO of Northwest Portland

#SERVPRONWPortland #SERVPROLakeOswego #SERVPRO #HereToHelp #LikeItNeverEvenHappened

"Live Burn" Event

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of NW Portland helps clean up debris after burn event.

LP Building Products, along with Portland Fire & Rescue and SERVPRO of NW Portland conducted a Live Burn demonstration at Colwood Golf Center in Portland on October 13, 2016.  The purpose of the demonstration was to show a side-by-side comparison of LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing vs. regular OSB sheathing.  The demonstration highlights the superior qualities of LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing which is ICC-certified, has a Class A and 30-Minute Flame Spread Rating (ASTM E84, UL 723), combines flame-spread resistance and burn-through resistance and has 15-Minute Thermal Barrier Protection (UBC 26-2).

Portland Fire & Rescue was in charge of conducting, monitoring and completing the burn and utilized the opportunity as a training exercise.  SERVPRO of NW Portland, a leading provider of Fire Damage Restoration, was asked to participate in the burn event and assist in the cleanup and disposal of the charred remnants of the two structures after the demonstration was finished.  Despite the rainy weather, many LP clients and members of the property insurance industry were in attendance to view the demonstration.

#SERVPRONWPortland #SERVPROLakeOswego #SERVPRO #HereToHelp #LikeItNeverEvenHappened