Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Prevention for the Home

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms are the best defense against house fires, but homeowners can also take other precautions in order to lessen their chances. Because of the multitude of house fire causes and how quickly they spread, many people are not aware of all the ways a fire could break out in their home.

House Fires by the Numbers

The NFPA estimates that there is one fire reported every 24 seconds. This makes the odds of experiencing a house fire for yourself higher than most would believe.

While cooking is still the leading cause of house fires, other hazards such as faulty heating systems, malfunctioning wiring and unattended open flames can also be a catalyst for disaster.

Fire Prevention for the Home

It is key to be proactive when reducing your risk of experiencing a house fire. Prevent fires in your own home with these helpful tips:

Check smoke detectors. Batteries of smoke alarms should be checked every 30 days and replaced every 10 years.

Clean the lint collector of your dryer. Lint left over in the tray from previous loads of laundry can be a fire hazard if left uncleaned.

Monitor open flames closely. Never leave the room if an open flame is present. Candles, cooking flames or heat sources can quickly get out of hand.

Maintain electrical cords. Frayed spots in electrical cords can spark and lead to fires, so it is important to inspect them often and replace them immediately when frays develop. Because cords can also put off heat, never route them behind or under furniture.

Read product labels. Aerosol cans are highly flammable, and most households have many supplies contained in aerosol. Keep these cans away from heat sources to prevent an explosion.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call at 503.619.6198. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Step-by-step for Fire Damage Restoration

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

It's not easy having to deal with a fire on your property. Whether it's a smaller fire that brought smoke damage, to an entire room that's been engulfed... SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills is ready to take on the even the worst. 

What's the steps that happen after a fire though?

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Having available resources will make the process easier. This is why we encourage to have SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills saved as your main contact in case of damage restoration emergencies. 

Why do you need immediate service before you start the fire damage restoration process? Of course, it’s actually the job of the emergency services and fire department to put out the fires. However, you may still need fire damage restoration services very quickly in order to prevent damage from spreading through your property.

Step 2: Assessment 

The second step is for SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills to assess the extent of the damage in your property. This will usually involve looking at how far the fire, the smoke, and the soot have traveled as well as seeing how badly affected your walls and furniture have been.

This is a a critical step, as it is only by trained and certified professionals to observe the extent of the damage. That's when we follow up with a plan of action, and to give you an accurate quote for how much it should cost and an accurate estimate of how long it will take.

Step 3: Tarp and Sealing

The worst thing that can happen after this event is experiencing further damage. Since we also specialize in water damage restoration, we take great care of the situation... And use every step necessary to see that the damage is contained, and won't get damaged even further.

Step 4: Clean Up

Once the situation has been properly contained, we move into the cleanup phase. This means we use proper solutions to take care of any smoke, soot, and dust that's resided. Alongside this we address the water damage that usually follows from first responders. There may be standing pools of water, which will seep into flooring and walls. Our equipment, including pumps and monitoring tools will be the first step to restoration. We understand that a chain-of-events can happen if these steps aren't taken properly, such as microbial growth and warping of surfaces. Leave the worry to us, and we'll handle the rest.

Step 5: Repair and Renovation

Cabinets may have been severely damaged. Furniture might be demolished. But, we are the experts in the restoration industry. This also means we can help renovate, and make things go back to normal. Our motto is to "Make things seem like it never even happened"! 

Step 6: Consultation

We won't just leave you hanging, and guessing on what the next step is. We conduct a debriefing, to thoroughly explain future instance prevention steps, all the way to any questions you might have about the restoration work we've done for your property. Our goal is to help YOU, which means we will go out of our way to provide resources and answer anything we can.

We hope this unfortunate case doesn't happen to you. But if it does, you can fully rely on SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills to get the job done right the first time. Inquire with us at (503) 619-6198.

Summer Fire

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

The weather is nice outside, and enables people surrounding the Portland area to get out and enjoy the sunlight. This could follow with camping trips and leisurely activities, such as enjoying campfires. However, what steps should be taken in order to see the summer is safe? Let's review a few things...

Oregon has undoubtedly seen some unfortunate forest fires, and irresponsible scenarios from negligence. It's important to remember these safety tips in order to have the safest, and best time possible:

Don't leave your campfire unattended: Sure, 30 minutes might not seem like a long time. However, it only takes a few undesirable seconds for a campfire to escape a safely made pit. Even if you feel confident about the fire containment, don't go for a prolonged period of time without extinguishing any fires in the wilderness.

Keep water near all campfires: This is something many don't think about... If the fire escapes the pit, what reaction will take place? Some might consider stomping out the flame. Others might try pouring water bottles to reduce the blaze. We encourage either having a gallon jug for the sole purpose of extinguishing the flames, or even bring along a small fire extinguisher for extra precaution. 

BBQ Safely: Like campfires, any flames (even controlled) need to be monitored and attended to without negligence. Don't set up any BBQ's near dry wooded areas. Use good judgment when using charcoal grills, and dispose of any hot coals properly. 

Fires and trees: Who doesn't love a big, comfortable fire? Bonfires are a ton of fun. But they are even harder to maintain compared to the conventional - small campfires that are usually within designated campsites. Just like the previous advice above, use diligence when enhancing the size of any fire you create. Always think of the "What if" scenarios, so you're that much more prepared!

We wish each and every person a safe and fun Summer! We hope this advice will help further the safety and all around experience. If you ever experience any home damage due to smoke or fire damage - then you can have the confidence that SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills will be there quickly, and to make things seem "Like it never even happened." 

Kitchens & Fire Hazards

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Aside from often being the hub of the home, the kitchen can be a warm, cozy place for family and friends to gather for a delicious meal and often quality time. However, danger can lurk in the kitchen. That danger is fire—and this is often the space where home fires start.

Fires that begin as a result of cooking are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Safety Tips for Cooking

Staying in the kitchen to keep watch over what is cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Let’s take a look at some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Watch out for your clothing. If you are wearing long, flowing sleeves or big, baggy clothing, it could catch on fire if you aren’t careful and it comes into contact with an open flame or a stove’s hot surface. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Watch the items that are placed around or on the stovetop. Kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking are quick to catch fire. Ideally, anything flammable needs to be moved away from it.

3. There needs to be a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home near your kitchen. Be sure that you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Hot grease should not be thrown in the garbage can. While the grease may not be on fire, it may just be hot enough to cause something in the trash to ignite and burn. Let the grease cool for a while before disposing of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the “smoke point” temperatures of oils you cook with. Never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Create and establish an escape plan in the event of a fire. Who wants to thinks about worst-case scenarios? Nobody, but it’s better to be prepared should an emergency occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Droughts and fire damage in Portland

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Dry land and grass plains pose an increased fire hazard risk in the Portland Metro area.

We know that last year was really hot, and we don't anticipate anything less for this upcoming Summer. Some of our older blogs have included Summer Safety Tips, and we truly encourage that everyone has a fun and safe time! 

However, one thing that could potentially be out of our control is the likelihood of a drought. Water becomes less abundant, therefore drying up plants and making grass go dry. The biggest concern from this, is the high risk of fires on land. Work with your family to develop a fire safety plan if some unfortunate scenario was to happen. This might include having a "safety meeting spot", and discussing what actions to take (including the call with 911). 

Don't ever hesitate to reach out if you're in need of fire damage restoration services. We specialize in the process, and can help anyone with our services. This also includes document restoration, alongside smoke and soot removal! 

Getting heated about Summer weather?

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Last year, it was a very dry season in the Portland area. Some lakes were substantially below the usual water levels, and there was an unfortunate abundance of wildfires along the West Coast. The concern this year is having to face a repeat of another dry season. What are some potential things to be mindful of while enjoying the summer heat?

Be attentive to your barbecue!

You never know if somethings going wrong if you're not around to monitor. Whether you're on your own land, or at a park; it's important to be cognizant about what's happening around flames - no matter how much control you think you've got!

Don't litter your cigarettes!

It's important to keep in mind that the little things could create the biggest difference. One cherry from a cigarette is enough to spark a fire in dry conditions. Please extinguish your cigarettes/cigars with care.


Who doesn't love these joyful things around the 4th of July? 

Even then, it's really crucial to be safe about these fun events. Just a couple years ago, Oregon suffered a drastic Eagle Creek fire caused by a fireworks, which destroyed approximately 50,000 acres of land.  

We hope that each and every person can get a chance to enjoy the upcoming warm weather. But we highly encourage safety and care for your surroundings! 

Summer 2019 Fire Risks and Tips

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

For those whom didn't know, Summer 2018 was the second hottest Summer in the Portland area throughout history. There was record reaching temperatures that reached over 100 degrees, and an unfortunate drought that caused stress on vegetation/bushes/trees. When the season gets to be this much of a scorcher, our number one concern derives from the risks of potential fires throughout the land. To prepare yourself for a fun, safe, and memorable Summer - We've put together some tips on how to keep things fun while under the sun, and reducing your risks of being a potential hazard:

  • When camping, don't leave campfires unattended without extinguishing. Even if you don't see flames, the hot coals may still be capable of igniting any flammable contents nearby. 

  • Don't use open flames near wooded areas. Many apartments have policies against fire pits on balconies. But even for home owners - it's important to recognize that umbrellas, gazebos, and patio furniture could catch fire if left too close.

  • Throwing cigarette butts out the window. When a hot cherry is thrown from a window, the place where it lands could potentially be dry and catch fire easily. Be cognizant about your surroundings. 

  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from any grilling area. 

  • Keep a close eye on children with events containing fireworks. 
  • Teach your children and loved ones the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" rule in case any mishap does occur.

We wish everyone a safe and happy time while out enjoying the sunny days. If you need any further fire tips, or come across damage that's potentially caused by smoke or fire - Inquire with us at (503) 619-6198! 

Smoke damage is a serious matter

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

When most people think of house fires, they consider the damage that the flames would cause. However, in most cases - A home fire will bring an abundance of smoke damage. Even a small fireplace is enough to produce enough smoke to damage an entire house. Recently, we've had more calls to help with the cleanup/restoration in some complexes. When this happens, we take diligent care using specialized products to remove both the odor, and the soot that managed to cling onto walls and materials. The products that we use are plant-based essential oils that are also environmentally friendly. If you happen to come across the unfortunate event of facing a house fire, don't hesitate to reach out to the SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills team to fix your situation! 

Who to seek out after experiencing fire damage

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

One of the biggest things that can ultimately affect any home or business is fire damage. Whether it was caused in the kitchen or other means, it will put a halt on everything happening in your life. Not only does it change almost every dynamic, but it could potentially destroy so many sentimental things you've built around you as well.

We understand.

Getting all the pieces back together may seem next to impossible. This is why SERVPRO takes great care of their customers who have gone through this scenario. From start-to-finish, there's elaborate and genuine care to restore your property back to normal. Don't let the overwhelming emotions and stress take control - because we'll be there and make things seem "Like it never even happened."

Facts about Home Fires

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Every year, the holidays are filled with baked goods, warm fires, holiday lights, and festive decorations – all of which can lead to a home fire. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills will always encourage safety precautions for making sure you and your family are safer. We'd also like to share 10 fun facts about home fires that you might find interesting:

1. Every year, home fires cause around 13,000 injuries, 2,500 deaths, and nearly $7 billion in damage.

2. Nearly 60% of home fires occur because of a lack of smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don’t work.

3. Texas, Pennsylvania, and California lead the nation in number of fire deaths.

4. Eighty percent of home fire deaths are caused by space heaters and wood stoves.

5. Of every five home fires, two begin in the kitchen.

6. Every year, smoking materials such as cigarettes and lighters cause over $500 million in property damage.

7. There are around 30 home fires reported every day that are caused by candles.

8. Nearly half of home electrical fires are the result of bad electrical distribution or wrongly placed lighting equipment.

9. On average, more male injuries and deaths occur from home fires than female injuries and deaths.

10. Cooking equipment is the number-one cause of home fires.

We care about the safety and well-being of our community. Please inquire with us for more information about what you can do to protect your family from a house fire! 

Fire update: Santiam Park

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

There's been a lot of news lately around the Santiam Park wildfire. Over 180 acres of land went up in blaze, and SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills has been tracking the wildfire since we heard about the news on late Tuesday. The blaze was fueled by continuous winds, and getting closer to Lyons, Oregon. Our number one concern is the communities around us, and making sure everyone can see that things seem "Like it never even happened." 

There hasn't been any structures affected by the fire, and the evacuations have been lifted. This is fantastic news for the surrounding communities, and a great reminder that fire safety is absolutely paramount during the warmer months this year. If you have any additional questions, or you're facing a situation with your home/business in terms of damage restoration... Please don't contact our team to inquire! 

Fire safety improvement

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

We always advise people to keep an additional fire extinguisher under your sink, just in case a fire happens unexpectedly!

Whether you live in Hillsboro, Portland, Beaverton, or the Cedar Hills area... One thing all these locations have in common is that all the homes in these towns possess fire extinguishers. Especially if you're living within an apartment complex, or condominium. 

So if you're asking “how many fire extinguishers does my building need?”

The answer is: It depends.

Many factors play a role in determining the number, type, size and location of portable fire extinguishers you need to place to keep your building, employees, and customers safe and stay up to code.

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), local codes, and OSHA have all prescribed requirements for the specific number of fire extinguishers that must be present in public buildings. Some factors that may affect these results may be:

  • Size and layout of the room
  • Fire hazard level of the building
  • Presence of flammable liquids
  • and stairwells. 

Regardless of having a fire extinguisher in a nearby spot in your building, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills also advises to keep an additional fire extinguisher at all times underneath your kitchen sink. The reason is due to the amount of fires that are initially started in the kitchen... And every second counts! 

If you need any further assistance or have questions about fire safety, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills is more than happy to help!

How does smoke damage work?

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

A house fire can be devastating and is something no home or business owner wants to experience. However, if a fire does occur in your home, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills can provide fire clean up services to help you recover from the damage. It's important to know exactly how and where fire damage can impact your home/business before the clean up process begins, especially since some areas of your property may have smoke damage that's not visible.

Unexpected Issues from Fire and Smoke Damage

After a fire, it's usually evident what smoke damage looks like in your home - whether it's charred items, discolored walls, or ash and soot on the floor - but it can also produce smells and other side effects that are harmful to surfaces. It's also important to note that some signs of smoke damage can occur immediately, while others are only apparent several hours - or even days - after the fire.

Shortly after a fire, the effects of smoke damage are visible on walls, ceilings and surfaces, appearing as stains and discoloration. Within a few days, walls and flooring may begin to turn yellow; however, this yellowing affect doesn't show right away. Plastic surfaces/appliances and wood can also become discolored and warped. Several hours after a fire, metal hardware can show signs of rust and corrosion.

Surfaces of your home, specifically fabric items, may not only show visible signs of fire damage, but also may contain a smoky odor. Smoke produces tiny particles of carbon in the air, and when deposited, these particles are called soot. Getting rid of the smoke residue, or soot, is the first step to reducing the smell of a fire.

The smell of smoke gets trapped in clothing, carpets, drapes and upholstered furniture, and unless these items are properly cleaned and deodorized by a professional fire clean up service, they may retain the smoky smell for a long period of time. The source of the odor can oftentimes be difficult to pinpoint. It could be in the soot on a surface, in the pores of wood or saturated in the finish of a piece of furniture.

Interior Damage

While smoke damage is visible on walls and ceilings, it can also permeate these surfaces and cause damage to a home's structure/framing, wall studs, insulation and air ducts in your ventilation system. When soot and smoke particles become trapped in the HVAC system, the smoke odor can reoccur periodically.

Electrical Damage
If any part of a home with wiring experiences fire damage, it usually means that the electrical system has been compromised. Depending on the source of the fire, any of the following electrical components may be damaged: wiring, cords, outlets, switches, fuses and breaker boxes. Appliances that have been affected by fire damage can show signs of corrosion, experience short circuits and malfunction, or fail completely.

No matter the level of destruction to your home, you should always consult SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills to access smoke or fire damage before you move forward with restoration and repairs. Our number one goal is to make things seem "Like it never even happened."

Don't get too heated with fire damage and smoke restoration

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

An example of smoke damage in a bedroom.

We know how devastating a house fire can be. It can happen in an instant, leaving you and your family feeling defeated and overwhelmed. 

When these things happen, the first thing people usually do is trying to find the next steps to rebuilding their life. At SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills, we take care of those who've faced this catastrophic event from start to finish. We know that belongings may have been further damaged by smoke, if not the fire. Alongside doing board-ups and property restoration, we also do content restoration as well. Don't let those family photos get tossed out if there's still a chance of restoring these. We have different techniques and equipment for a variety of materials. For any further information, please contact us at (619) 698-6871.

How to find the right Fire Damage restoration company

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

If you have experienced fire damage in your home, then you should work quickly to try and repair it and restore as much of your property as possible. 

Having the number of a good fire damage restoration company is an important first step. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills can provide 24-hour emergency contact so that we can come out rapidly to deal with any serious damage that might be causing leaks and other problems that are progressive in nature.

There's many restoration companies out there, but you'll want an organization that will provide you with full renovations and that has mostly good reviews from other users.

Likewise, you should make sure that your home is fully insured. By using a comprehensive insurance plan, you will have financial aid when it comes to finding fire damage restoration services and you will also be able to get any items replaced that need to be completely disposed of.

On top of all this, you should also take as many steps as possible to prevent fire damage entirely. This means making sure that you are careful when cooking and it means avoiding leaving plugs on. At the same time, it also means using a fire alarm and ensuring that this works at all times by testing it regularly.

All these steps will help you to prevent fires where possible and to deal with the damage quickly when they do still happen. When you are in need of a fire and smoke damage restoration company in Portland Metro area, contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills with the highest confidence that we'll make it seem "Like it never even happened."

Fire Safety Tips

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

Always check the batteries of your smoke alarms. Be sure to test them every month for your safety!

One of the most devastating things a family can face is the loss of a home due to fire. It's life changing, and potentially fatal if people aren't out in a timely manner. We at SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills can help you prepare the family for any future house fire emergency with these tips:

  1. Install the right number of smoke alarms: Check the batteries. Always do a smoke alarm test every month.

  2. Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like. 

  3. Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.

  4. Establish a family emergency communication plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.

  5. Practice escaping from your home twice a year. Yell "Fire" to alert everyone to escape to the safe meeting location

  6. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1. Have your address written somewhere safe so children can help first responders in a timely manner.

  7. Teach family members to "stop, drop, and roll" in case their clothes should catch on fire. 

These tips may help your family develop a safer setting in case of emergency. If this unfortunate event ever occurs to your home, you can have the confidence we'll be there 24/7 to help with your damage restoration needs. 

How Much Time to Escape from a House Fire

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

A modern home that contains many synthetic materials can make a room engulfed within 3 minutes.

Destruction from house fires is absolutely devastating. We've gone over before how things such as Christmas trees can go up in flames within a matter of seconds. Another leading cause of house fires also contributes towards kitchen duties being left unattended. But how much time does someone need in order to escape a house fire safely?

Research has shown that 30 years ago, the average person would have about 17 minutes to safely escape a home. Nowadays, the time for someone to safely escape has lowered to a daring 3-4 minutes. The reason behind this is due to the materials that the home is made from. Older houses generally have real wood and natural materials, compared to newer properties which have been constructed with synthetic materials which catch fire even faster. The odds of facing a home fire may seem unlikely, but it's good to know these facts in case it ever happens to you. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills also specializes in fire damage restoration. So if there's ever this situation in your life, you can feel assured that we've got your back! 

Wildfire becomes deadliest in California history

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Carr Fire Cleanup

We at SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills send our utmost condolences to those who have been affected by the California wildfire. 

The inferno that rampaged the wooded town of Paradise in northern California became the deadliest wildfire in the state’s modern history on Monday when officials said they had discovered the remains of 13 more people, bringing the death toll to 42. 

It has also been brought to attention that more than 7100 structures have been destroyed due to the blaze. We hope that families are able to recover quickly and the fire mitigates soon.

For local fire services; we take pride in helping families with fire damage restoration and making it seem "Like it never even happened". Our professional crew has been previously dispatched to help take part in fire damage due to the California Carr fire within recent times. 

Is Your Oak Hills Home Fire Proof?

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

We called in the help of the pros at SERVPRO when dealing with fire safety and fire prevention in Oak Hills and here are just a few things you can do make sure you have the best odds of being fireproof in Oregon.


  • Create a fire safe zone around your home. Remove flammable vegetation and leaves at least 20’ from the house and at least 75’ if you live in a pine forest.
  • Inspect your home and yard asking: What can catch fire or carry it to your home?
  • Having nothing flammable within 10’ of the house. Occasional trees should be at least 10’ from the house
  • Evergreens catch fire easily and burn quickly. Prune lower limbs, thin out the trees or remove them from the safety zone.

And as always if you have fire damage to your Oak Hills home call SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills at (503) 619-6198 today!

The Fire at Withers Lumber

8/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills was on the scene next day to help clean up damage from a fire.

During a Parade back on July 4th, Withers Lumber found themselves in a bit of a pickle. An SUV in their parking lot had started smoking due to an electrical issue, and was quickly engulfed in flames. The next day, they called SERVPRO Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills, and we loaded up the truck and headed right over!

The building hadn’t sustained much damage other than the windows being blown out, but the fire had caused a layer of soot to settle on the parking lot and front of the building. We pressure washed and cleaned that up, while also taking care of the glass and debri cause by the explosion. Our technicians removed some damaged insulation, and then cleaned up the ceiling grid.

If you have soot or smoke damage in your home, don’t hesitate to call us! We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

(503) 619-6198

SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills to assist in California wildfire recovery efforts!

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

This is the kind of color change you want to see in the forest, not a wildfire disaster.

Wildfires are a yearly, often tragic reality in the West Coast states. While we in the Portland metropolitan area have been very fortunate in this regard, it is easy for us to empathize with those now facing loss from the historically large fires devastating parts of California. We at SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills feel just as strongly about this, and we want to help.

This is why SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills is now preparing to send a crew of technicians down to California in the coming weeks to assist in the recovery and restoration effort. Our crews possess valuable skills, training, and experience related to both fire and water damage restoration that we want to put to use in areas where local resources are overwhelmed. Areas devastated by the Carr Fire are likely to be part of our first effort.

The Carr Fire, located near Redding, began on July 23 and has since grown to the size of 214,527 acres as of this writing, making it one of the largest wildfires in California’s history. Due to the close proximity of large population centers, there has been loss or damage to nearly 2,000 structures so far. We at SERVPRO are confident that our team will be able to make a difference to some of the home and business owners affected by this tragedy.

SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills is always standing by locally to respond if you have a water or fire emergency. Call us at (503) 619-6198 and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

What Not to Do After a House Fire

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

House fires can be scary! Make sure you're prepared!

SERVPRO Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is here to help!

  • Do not enter your home until you’re given permission that it is safe.
  • Do not turn on gas, water or electric utilities until a professional has deemed them safe.
  • Do not start or move your vehicle if it has been damaged.
  • Do not try to clean any of the smoke or soot damage yourself. Leave that to professionals who have the proper safety equipment and experience.

What to Do After a House Fire

  • Get permission from Fire Department officials before you re-enter the fire-damaged structure.
  • Contact family members and loved ones to inform them of the accident.
  • Attend to frightened pets and ensure their safety and comfort.
  • Call all utility providers (electric, gas, water) and inform them of the fire.
  • Call your homeowners insurance company to begin the claim process.
  • Call SERVPRO Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills at (503) 619-6198– available 24/7, 365 days a year – to discuss fire restoration services.
  • Understand and acknowledge the specifics of the “fire report” issued by the responding fire department and make sure you get a copy. Obtaining a copy depends on the state you live in and cause of the fire. A fire report is an official document that details the specifics of the incident. This is important for insurance purposes.
  • Document all fire damage. Take photographs and detailed notes of damage to property.
  • Retrieve valuable belongings and irreplaceable heirlooms before you leave the property.
  • Contact your local police department to notify them that your home will be temporarily vacant. Next, notify your children’s school so that teachers know your children are going through a stressful time. Finally, notify the post office to hold or forward your mail.
  • Start the process of replacing important documents lost in the fire (licenses, passports, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Fires can be traumatic for your entire family. Take care of everyone’s emotional needs and schedule counseling, if necessary.
  • If your home was damaged from a wildfire, you may be able to apply for Fire Management Assistance.
  • For disaster relief, contact your local Red Cross or The Salvation Army.

SERVPRO Cedar Mills/ Oak Hills fire damage restoration uses state-of-the art fire damage restoration technology and procedures to help get your home back to its preloss condition. Our professional technicians will treat your property with respect during the restoration process. Call (503) 619-6198 or request a home restoration quote.

How To Prepare Your Family For a House Fire

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Make sure your family is ready!
  • Call your local fire department or volunteer rescue organization to schedule an in-home visit. Most communities offer fire prevention training as a free service to residents. Firefighters can offer suggestions for coming up with the safest route possible out of your home, check your smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, and point out potential fire hazards.
  • Identify two ways out of every room. This helps to avoid panic if one path is too dangerous to follow.
  • Create a simple, efficient route. The idea is to get out of the house as quickly as possible – a small fire can become an out-of-control blaze in less than 30 seconds.
  • Practice fire drills with your family and everyone who regularly cares for your children. Practice leaving the house with your eyes closed or a blindfold on – fire starts with a bright flame but quickly fills the house with black smoke and complete darkness.
  • If you live in a house that has two or more stories, buy a portable escape ladder that can be lowered out a window. Make sure it's tested by a nationally reputable laboratory (such as Underwriters Laboratory), and show everyone where ladder is kept and how it works.
  • If you live in an apartment building, don't include elevators in your evacuation plan because they can easily malfunction or get stuck between floors.
  • Teach your children that if they get trapped in their room, they should lie on the floor close to their bed. That's where firefighters will look for them.
  • Designate a meeting place – a safe spot outside the house where everyone can gather and be accounted for.

If you have any questions, call SERVPRO Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills at (503) 619-6198 to help you develop an Emergency Readiness Plan.

Clearing Out Smoke Damage In Your Oak Hills Home

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke damage stinks for everyone!

You’re relieved that the fire damage was minimal but shocked to find that the smoke damage is extensive.

It is easy to forget about the destructive power of smoke but we are quickly reminded of it by the horrible odor that is filling your home. The smoky pollutant irritates your eyes and airways, while the sticky residue on scorched walls and the layer of ashes begin to corrode your personal possessions. 

The urgency to clear out the smoke sets in as you realize that although the flames did not reach far, the smoke did massive damage. Smoke and ashes travel through doors and vents, reaching your entire home, penetrating your carpet, drapes, and furniture with the odor of smoke.

Even the paint on the wall is not safe! Microscopic molecules of smoke embed deep into the pores and crevices of almost anything. 

As you can see, a simple opening of windows, a wipe down with a household cleaner, and the passage of time will not be enough to fix this sort of smoke damage.

So call SERVPRO to come and put your life back together quickly and professionally. (503) 619-6198

Smoke Detectors Are So Important To Your Cedar Mill Home

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke Detectors Save Lives!

Fire safety tip:

Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly! Smoke detectors are so important to your Cedar Mill Home because they are often the first line of defense if a fire or heavy smoke is present.

The loud alarm generated by these life-saving machines can be heard throughout the house which signals to the people in every room that a potential emergency is present.

Please check your smoke detectors at least once per month to ensure they are working properly, this includes checking the batteries. They should also be changed out every 10 years to make sure the unit stays fresh and works to save your life when you need it the most.

If you have had a fire damage in your Cedar Mill home call SERVPRO today, (503) 619-6198!

How Do I Get The Smoke Smell Out Of My Portland Home?

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke belongs by the campfire not in your home!

It happens to the best of us right. In the kitchen cooking your favorite dish, someone knocks on the door or the phone rings so you go answer it.  You walk back in the room and your stove is on fire! Smoke rolls through the house, the alarm is blaring but luckily you're a quick thinker. You reach for the fire extinguisher and put it out before there is too much damage.

Even if there is not much fire damage in a situation like this many times you have to deal with the smoke smell that lingers long after in your house.  

This week on our SERVPRO blog feed we are going to provide you with some quick tips on how to get the smell of smoke out of your house. 

Things You'll Need

·         Baking Soda

·         Vinegar and Water Solution

·         Heavy duty washing detergent


1.      Throw open the windows and even a door or two as quickly as possible after the fire. The less time the smoke sits around the greater chance of getting rid of it quickly. Even if it is in the middle of winter, airing your house right away will disperse the smoke and prevent any more absorption. If the weather is nice, you might want to keep the windows open for a few days, at least during the daylight hours.

2.     Launder your drapes and table linens as soon as possible; they will absorb the smoke odor rapidly. Wash them in the hottest water that the fabric can endure and heavy duty washing detergent. If the fabrics cannot be washed at home, take them to a dry cleaner, which will have solutions that will make the fabric smoke-free.

3.      Clean your cabinets, walls, and floors with a one-part vinegar, one part warm water solution. Be sure to test this first but most surfaces are fine with this solution. Vinegar naturally absorbs odors so the smell of vinegar and smoke should go away in a few hours after using it.

4.      Place bowls of baking soda around your kitchen, and even put a few inside the cabinets, pantry, and any other room that has an odor.  This too will help to absorb the odor in a few days time. Sprinkle the rugs and carpeting with baking soda and vacuum. Sprinkle the baking soda again and this time let sit for a few days time before vacuuming.

If the house still smells of smoke or if you don’t want to do the work in the first place, just call us here at SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills and we’ll get it right out.

(503) 619-6198

Is Your Oak Hills Home Fire Proof?

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Proofing Your Oak Hills Home Is The Smart And Safe Thing To Do!

We called in the help of the pros at SERVPRO when dealing with fire safety and fire prevention in Oak Hills and here are just a few things you can do make sure you have the best odds of being fireproof in Oregon.


  • Create a fire safe zone around your home. Remove flammable vegetation and leaves at least 20’ from the house and at least 75’ if you live in a pine forest.
  • Inspect your home and yard asking: What can catch fire or carry it to your home?
  • Having nothing flammable within 10’ of the house. Occasional trees should be at least 10’ from the house
  • Evergreens catch fire easily and burn quickly. Prune lower limbs, thin out the trees or remove them from the safety zone.

And as always if you have fire damage to your Oak Hills home call SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills at (503) 619-6198 today!