Recent Fire Damage Posts

Decreasing the Chance of Fire Around Your House | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

lit candle left on a dresser unattended Lit candles likes this one should never be left unattended since flames can spread so quickly in a home.

Preventing fires in your home may not be at the front of your mind, but with these easy tips – we aim to change that. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s data, between the years of 2015-2019 the U.S. experienced an average of about 350,000 home structure fires per year. So you can see why following these easy tips may be to your benefit.

General Fire Safety Tips:

  • Make sure there are smoke detectors installed on all levels of the home, especially inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Check each smoke alarm battery at least once a month and replace them as necessary.
  • Practice a fire escape plan at least twice per year with the entire household.
  • Keep fire extinguishers throughout the house, especially in common areas.
  • Clear out dryer lint trays after every use and have your ventilation line cleaned at least once per year.
  • Do not run extension cords under rugs, through doors or around corners where they might become pinched.

Kitchen Fire Safety Tips:

  • Never leave the stovetop or oven on when you leave the room — the leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher stored nearby and be sure everyone in the household knows how to operate it.
  • Turn pot handles towards the back of stove so they can’t accidentally get knocked or grabbed by children.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or shirts with long, hanging sleeves as these could catch fire if it comes in contact with a heat source.
  • Don’t throw hot grease in the garbage – instead let it cool and throw it away (and never pour grease or oil down your drain).

Bedroom/Office Fire Safety Tips:

  • Always keep an eye on open flames, even candles and guarded fireplaces.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Discontinue and replace frayed phone chargers and other cables immediately.
  • Use electric blankets with extreme caution and never sleep with them turned on.
  • Keep lamps and electronics that produce heat (i.e. computers) away from curtains or drapes.

If your home has been damaged by fire, you can count on us to respond quickly and help you begin restoration. We can handle damage from flames, smoke, soot and water — call SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills today to learn more.

Prevent In-home Fires With These Easy Steps | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

interior view of a room with items completely destroyed by fire Are you dealing with damage due to a house fire? Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to learn more about our fire restoration services.

In 2022, the American Red Cross has already responded to over 20,000 in-home fires. And it is important to take steps to prevent them because that number doesn’t even scratch the surface of the approximately 346,000 the country sees per year.

Smoke detectors are still the primary way to prevent the damages fires can cause, but here are some ways to strengthen your prevention efforts:

Make Sure That Your House Is Clutter-Free

In addition to being generally unsightly, clutter in hallways and stairwells can become a fire hazard. Blankets, loose clothing and other cloth items are especially flammable in the event of a house fire. When clothes are left near a water heater, they can also start a fire.

While having more open space can prevent fueling a fire, it also serves as a means to clearing escape routes in the event of an in-home fire.

Another common cause of fires is overloaded extension cords. Unplugging less commonly used appliances and clearing unused electrical appliances can help reduce this risk.

Leaving space between furniture and wall outlets is a great way to promote proper airflow and reduce overheating.

Create a Defensible Space in Your Yard

Your yard is the primary line of defense when it comes to a fire that originates outside. Being intentional with your landscaping and spreading out your plants helps to protect your home and grants workspace to firemen who are responding to your emergency.

Because this is a frequent issue, fire-prone states like California have issued defensible zone requirements for yards. Because Oregon is just as prone to fires, it would be smart to implement these practices.

This should not discourage anyone from doing their typical gardening. Instead, place plants strategically to provide the most protection. It is also a good idea to clear out anything that could add fuel to the flames, like dead plants or limbs.

Keep It Clean & Keep It Safe

To bolster decluttering your home and yard, spring-cleaning will help reduce fire hazards. Taking the time for a deep-clean on your stove and having your chimney cleaned and inspected can prevent a fire.

Although all these things can seem cumbersome, even something as simple as dusting your surfaces can be a form of fire prevention. Note and address the dust gathering near appliances and outlets.

When fire prevention can be as simple as maintaining a clean and tidy home, it is a no-brainer to take these steps and prevent the potentially devastating damage it can cause.

If you have experienced fire damage or want to learn more about our fire damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 247.

What to Do in the Aftermath of a House Fire | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

a house engulfed in flames at night Restoring fire and smoke damage are one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to learn more.

Experiencing a fire in your home is something that can completely alter your life. Being at home when a fire starts is traumatic, in addition to dealing with the aftermath of the damage to your property. Many people who experience a house fire are doing so for the first time, and learning all that comes after the incident can be an overwhelming process in and of itself.

Because we have helped countless households in our area recover from fires, we understand the ins and outs of fire recovery and wanted to share some of our favorite tips here. While we all hope a fire is something we never experience for our own households, it is something that is wise to prepare for just in case.

How to Handle the Aftermath of a House Fire

Contact your insurance company first. One of the small bright spots in an otherwise traumatic event is that oftentimes, homeowners insurance policies will provide some coverage for fire damage. If you experience a house fire, contact your insurance company right away to get details about how to proceed. They will typically have a procedure for working with a restoration company to have your damages assessed and professionally restored in a timely manner.

Check with the fire department. House fires can damage more than simply the area where the flames were. There will often be smoke and soot damage throughout the house, water damage where the fire was extinguished and even structural damage depending on how the fire department had to access the home. Before you return to the site, make sure to check with the fire department to determine if it is safe for you to do so.

Consider the emotional recovery. Experiencing a house fire is truly a traumatizing event, especially for young children, the elderly and pets. Disasters such as house fires can take an emotional toll for any family, so it is important to be aware of emotional healing needs after a fire, both for yourself and for your family. Oftentimes, organizations such as the Red Cross and FEMA will be able to put you in contact with staff that specializes in disaster recovery and the emotional aftermath.

If you need help with the restoration process after a house fire, you can depend on us. We have a team of technicians who specialize in fire restoration for residential buildings—contact us today to learn more.

Fire Science, With a Side of Geometry | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

a small paper house burning If your home or business has any damage, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is ready around the clock to help you recover.

Everyone knows about the scientific visual aid known as the water sphere. You don’t? Weird. How about the air rhombus—still no? Wow, did you test out of geometry or something? Surely you know the earth parallelogram though. Huh. Well, OK, guess we better start from the beginning.

First off…none of those are real.

But there is a scientific visual aid with an equally silly name, that serves as a way by which we can see the makeup of any fire, and which also give us insight into effective methods for putting fires out. It’s called, we kid you not, the fire tetrahedron.

The 3D pyramid-type shape has four equal sides, each of which represents one of the elements that composes every fire. And thus, each side also reveals to us something that can be used to fight every fire.

Yes, the fire tetrahedron is real, and it’s spectacular. Let’s see what it’s about.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel. Every fire has to consume something—to, as we would put it, destroy something. This is the fuel—the material that gets damaged, eaten away or otherwise gobbled up by the flames.

Heat. The degrees may vary, but every fuel source must reach and maintain a certain level of heat in order for combustion to begin and/or continue.

Oxygen. During the process of combustion, fires consume oxygen, removing it from the atmosphere. The fire converts the oxygen to carbon dioxide, and leaves an atmosphere rife with carbon monoxide in its wake.

Chemical Chain Reaction. The thing about fire is that it doesn’t simply want to spark; it wants to live and thrive. But in order for that to happen, all these things have to happen concurrently and continually. The chain reaction that occurs when fuel meets heat and oxygen is as vital to the fire’s success as any of the other three elements.

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. Reimposing thermal balance on a fire’s fuel source (aka throwing water on it) is the most common way we put out fires. It takes a lot of cooling, but once the cooling rate overtakes the heat rate, the fire stops.

Smother it. Have you ever restarted a fire by blowing on it? That’s because the fresh infusion of oxygen gave it new life. When a fire runs out of, or is blocked off from, its oxygen supply, it’s done.

Starve it. If a fire was burning next to you and you didn’t want to get burned, you’d simply run away, right? That is you removing a potential fuel source away from the fire, depriving it of what it would need in order to spread to you. When all fuel is burned, there’s nothing left for the fire to consume.

Interrupt the chain reaction. It’s a complicated process, but a certain subset of chemicals and gases are able to undo part of the chemical reaction that keeps a fire alive, removing important links that spell out the end for a fire.

If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.

What Causes House Fires? | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

a firefighter battling a fire with a water hose in hand Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills are here for you if your home is affected by fire.

Your home is your most prized possession, as it should be! You have worked hard to buy your home and the items inside. So, why do we become so careless in everyday routines?

Safety shouldn’t take a backseat, but despite many ad campaigns and awareness advertisements, more than a quarter of all reported fires still occur in the home.

So, we want to provide you with a refresher on fire safety in your home! As you settle in for the evening, review these top causes of house fires and learn what you can do to help prevent them.

Cooking. As you might suspect, this is one of the top causes of house fires and injuries. Almost half of all house fires begin in the kitchen from unattended cooking. Because we all get busy, and life is hectic, we can tend to overlook how risky cooking actually can be. That’s why it’s important to always stay with any food that you are preparing…or call for delivery!

Heating equipment. This is the second most common cause of house fires. It can come from a combination of equipment malfunctions, mishaps and flammable materials placed too close. The main culprit is those small, convenient, space heaters. If you decide to use these, ensure that you keep them out of the way of high-traffic areas and away from anything flammable.

Electrical fires. Faulty wiring or an overload of a circuit is typically the reason for this kind of fire. Older homes can’t keep up with the high usage of electricity, so it’s important to have the electrical system in an older house inspected regularly and upgraded as necessary.

Intentional fires. As crazy as it may sound, there are more than 28,000 intentional home fires started every year. These are fires that are set on purpose with the intention of destruction, not fires set for legitimate reasons that get out of control.

Smoking materials. Smoking materials cause less than 5% of fires, but are the most common contributor to fire deaths. These deaths commonly result when someone falls asleep while smoking.

Regardless of the cause, SERVPRO is here for you if your home is affected by fire. Contact the SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills team today to see how we can help.

Cooler Weather Fire Dangers | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

a small campfire burning bright in the dark night Be mindful about fall fire safety. Always remember that SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is a trusted leader in the restoration industry.

With the hottest days of the year finally out of the way, we can go outside and enjoy the day. We can prep for the shorter days and all the fun family holidays that come along with the fall season.

This type of weather is when most places have the nicest weather, and everyone starts looking forward to more friends and family gatherings.

But like any other season, fall brings its own dangers, like potential fire hazards. So, as you enjoy your last few pool days, why not review some fire safety tips?

Campfire Safety

Fall evenings are sometimes spent by the campfire with friends or family talking about life. When you do this, it’s best to use your fire safety tips that come almost like second nature for you.

You should never use an accelerant like kerosene or lighter fluid. And like we all know, fires can easily get out of control, so be sure to keep them far away from your home or trees.

When enjoying the campfire, make sure that someone is always at the fire. It’s also smart to keep a fire hose or full water bucket close by in case you should need it quickly.

Space Heaters

Portable space heaters can be quite useful during the colder months, but they can also be quite dangerous. These little things are one of the most frequent causes of home fires.

It’s important to keep your space heater away from anything flammable, and it’s also best to invest in one that will turn off if it is knocked over.

Another important reminder is to plug it directly into an outlet, never an extension cord, and turn it off when you leave the room or go to bed.


We still have some time before we get to Halloween, but it doesn’t hurt to start thinking ahead. Realizing that candles, decorations and costumes can all be fire hazards can save you from major accidents, so be sure to stay aware at all times.

If a fire hazard should turn from potential to reality in your home, remember the trusted leader in the recovery industry and contact SERVPRO to get your property fully restored right down to the smell of smoke.

Defensible Space and the Fight to Protect Your Home | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

a gravel driveway on the side of a brick home When fires do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to start the restoration process.

Watching your home go up in flames would be horrific! Wildfires are a more common cause of property damage than many people realize. They spread at incredible rates and with so many combustible materials around us, we are lucky to get them stopped.

Thankfully, there are a few things that we can do to fight against the spread of wildfires. The most obvious help would come from being more careful. But there are some other actions you can take.

Let’s talk about “defensible space.”

Defensible Space—What Is This?

Defensible space is the buffer area you can create around your home by removing wildfire “fuel.”

Things like dead trees and leaves should be removed, and you should add things such as flame-resistant gravel. You should also use responsible planting and pruning practices.

You can think of defensible space as a barrier of protection, designed to protect your home in the event of a wildfire. Defensible space helps by slowing or stopping the spread of fire as it draws nearer.

It also gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it breaches your home’s perimeter.

Defensible space is required by law in some states, and for us here in Cedar Mill/Oak Hills/Beaverton area, we’re required to reduce excess vegetation around our homes.

Why Does Defensible Space Matter?

When you think of wildfires, you typically think of California, but sadly (and often) wildfires can happen anywhere. There were over 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.

California had a devastating 10,000+ fires, but even not including them, the average number of wildfires per state in 2020 was around 1,000. For 2021, the first six months have already seen about 25% more fires than 2020 did in the same period.

Many people in our area remember the Labor Day fires which burned over 900,000 acres and covered the Willamette Valley in a non-stop smoke haze for more than a week.

Clearly, the more precautions we take to help prevent or manage wildfires, the better everyone will be. Defensible space is one way we can do our part.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

Warm Weather Fire Safety Tips | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to learn more.

Warmer weather reminds everyone to get outside and enjoy some sunshine. Vacations, campouts, parties and seasonal celebrations are just the beginning, but what people tend to forget is that warm weather also produces a higher risk of fire ignition!

Did you know that spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year? It’s true! While warmer weather brings all sorts of pleasant experiences and opportunities, it also increases the chances of fire.

The good news is there are steps you can take to lower that risk.

Grilling. Warmer weather means barbecuing or firing up the grill. But grill fires certainly spike during the warmer months as well. Taking care of a few steps ahead of time can help save you—and your dinner. Confirm that the grill is in good working condition, have it placed at least three feet away from everything and clean it before each use. The last point is particularly important since almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

Fire pits or campfires. Campfires are made for sleepovers, s’mores and so much more. While making s’mores or enjoying the sights and sounds of the fire, make sure you never leave kids unattended around either a campfire or a fire pit. Be sure to keep a bucket of water or drag a water hose close to the pit. You should keep your fire pit three feet away from anything that can catch fire, and finally, put the fire out slowly to avoid scattering embers.

Chimneys and dryer vents. They don’t call it “spring cleaning” for nothing! Warmer months are the perfect time to clean the things you don’t do on a normal basis—things like your chimney and your dryer vent hose. By taking these extra precautions like having your chimney inspected and dryer vents cleaned you are possibly doing some lifesaving maintenance that will save you money and time in the future.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

Easy Steps You Can Take Now to Lower Your Fire Risk | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mills/Oak Hills

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

large image of red, yellow and orange flames House fires tend to peak during the winter. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills are available 24/7 in the event of an emergency.

Our team wants to help homeowners in Oak Hills be safer during this cold winter season. One way we can do that is by helping you lower your risk for a winter house fire.

Winter house fires are more common than you think. Fire damage claims are among those most often filed by homeowners. And winter house fires result in about 890 deaths every year.

We pulled together the most impactful tips to help Oak Hills homeowners stay safe. These tips fit easily into your budget, and you can add them to your daily routine without a lot of effort. But they can make a big difference.

Tips to Make Your Home Safer

Here are some great tips you can use to make your home a safer place:

Be prepared to prevent grease fires. Grease fires are a common problem in the kitchen. You can’t put these fires out with water because water makes them worse. Instead, you should have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen to stop them. You can also smother those fires with baking soda or a metal lid.

Take care of your home’s natural gas furnace. Don’t let your home’s furnace get behind on maintenance. A professional needs to check your home regularly for rusted parts and clogged vents. Those can be a fire hazard and they’re not always obvious. Your furnace might be working well as far as you can see, even with these issues.

Use your fireplace safely. Clear chimneys are vital to the safety of your fireplace. It would help if you also were sure your fireplace is clean and you’re disposing of the ashes correctly. A fireplace caked in ashes can be dangerous.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

We Have Resources to Help With Fire Restoration l SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Suburban house that caught on fire If you have fire damage due to a heating malfunction or other issue, count on SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to fully restore your home.

Did you know that house fires are more common during the winter months?

It’s true. There are various causes of winter fires, ranging from problems with space heaters to toppled candles.

Accidents involving Christmas trees are one of the leading causes of holiday fires. But issues with home heating systems and mishaps in the kitchen can cause problems for homeowners, too.

The Help You Need Is Right Here

While no one likes to think about the aftermath of a house fire, it’s a reality for millions of American families each year. We want to help you restore your home to its original condition if damaged by a fire.

Here’s why we are Cedar Mills’ trusted partner for fire damage remediation and restoration:

Our team believes in restoration first. We have a team of local experts who want to ensure you get the help you need. With our pool of resources, we can help you save your repairs and homeowners insurance premiums. Our team’s experts want to make your restoration process as painless as we can for your family. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

We’ll help with the entire restoration process. Fire damage goes beyond problems caused by the fire. It can include smoke damage, water damage and issues with odors in furniture upholstery. Our team can work through restoration on all of these and more.

We are members of your community. SERVPRO is a national company but the owner and employees of our franchise are all local to the Cedar Mill/Oak Hills area. We have access to the leading-edge resources, equipment and techniques available to a large national company, and we bring those things to your restoration project.

We’re available 247. Fires don’t happen on a predictable schedule. And getting started with the restoration process as soon as possible is a vital step in restoring your home. We know that timing matters during an emergency, so our team is available at any time when you need help.

If you have fire damage in your home due to a kitchen, heating or other fire, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services.

Fire Safety: Electrical Focus | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

The holiday season is coming fast, and with it the temptation to string as many colored lights as possible inside and out. Before you start plugging everything in, do a quick review of your home’s electrical safety situation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, “electrical distribution or lighting equipment” accounts for about 34,000 home fires every year. These hazards include cords, lighting, plugs and wiring.

From the point at which electricity enters your home to endpoint devices, we’ll look at the most common sources of danger:

Human Error

From using devices in an unsafe manner to allowing curtains to droop against heating elements, human carelessness contributes to many home electrical fires. The best remedy is caution. Always read appliance directions and follow them.

Never leave devices such as space heaters unattended. Make sure electrical devices and appliances have plenty of space around them. Treat electrical devices with a healthy respect in every situation.

Electrical Failure or Malfunction

After human error, electrical “failure or malfunction” makes the second leading cause of deaths from house fires. Many fires involve arcing, where a spark jumps from one conductor to another. Damaged wires and loose connections—in your house wiring or in appliances—can lead to arcing. So can faults in junction and control boxes.

Professional Advice. If your house has older wiring, it might be time for a visit from an electrician. He or she can look for any wiring that needs to be updated. Your electrician can also install arc-fault circuit interrupters to cut off power when dangerous arcing conditions occur.

Sharp-Eyed Solutions. For your part, you can check devices and appliances from small holiday lights through washers and dryers. Look for any exposed wires, loose cords or frayed coverings of cords/wires. Discard damaged devices or have them professionally repaired.


Distribution problems also contribute to house fires. Connecting more than one appliance to a socket spells trouble. Similarly, extension cords should only be used occasionally, not incorporated as part of your day-to-day wiring solution.

Too many appliances connected to one outlet or circuit can lead to fires. Make sure you place no more demand on any one circuit or outlet than it can support.

From fire to storm to flood, disaster can strike a business at any time. To discuss a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, contact us at any hour for assistance.

Wintertime Tips for Fire Prevention | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

It seems like every year, the holiday season approaches faster and faster—but that means the increased risk of house fires does, too. Wintertime is when the most home fire incidents tend to occur according to the Red Cross, mainly because there is an increased chance for them to occur due to common winter activities.

The No.1 cause of home fires is cooking regardless of the season, but the chances for heating and electrical-related fires always increases when the weather turns colder. Focusing on fire safety throughout your wintertime celebrations will ensure that fires are far less likely to get a chance to spark.

Tips for Fire Prevention Around the Holiday Season

Keep safe when cooking. Cooking is the top cause of house fires in every season, but during the winter, there are more large, family style meals and far more baking which causes the frequency of cooking related fires to increase. It is wise to always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and be careful about utensils, potholders, dish towels and curtains being anywhere near the stove.

Heat the house with proper precautions. It is common to use space heaters throughout the winter season to knock the chill off, but it is important to be certain your model has safety features such as a tip over shutoff and overheating sensor. If you have a fireplace in the home, have your chimney inspected annually to reduce the risk of fire, and be sure to never leave a fire or a space heater unattended or going while you sleep.

Decorate with care. The decorations commonly associated with Christmas, such as trees and lights, present an electrical hazard if they are not installed correctly. Christmas tree fires due to electricity are extremely common, often as a result of the lights being plugged in improperly. Make sure to not overload outlets or power cables, and never use decorations with frayed wiring.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

Our Top Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Home | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

white fire alarm being tested by a person If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to learn more.

Experiencing a house fire is never something that is on someone’s agenda, but they happen more often than you might think. A small fire can quickly start to spread and turn dangerous, taking under a minute in a lot of scenarios. Taking a proactive fire safety approach is key for making sure you are reducing your chances of ever having to deal with a house fire in your own home.

Fortunately, implementing fire safety in your household is about planning ahead and generally developing good habits to prevent it from becoming an issue. By being proactive, you can significantly mitigate the fire risk throughout your household.

How Can I Take a Proactive Fire Safety Approach?

Check your smoke detectors. If you never consider the smoke detectors in your home, now is the time to start. Smoke detectors should be installed throughout the home and be tested every 30 days to make sure they do not have defects. Many models are designed to have 10-year batteries now, but if yours begins chirping, make sure you replace the batteries right away to keep it operational.

Create a fire escape plan. If the smoke detectors do go off, it is important that everyone in your home knows what comes next and how to escape safely. A fire escape should take two minutes or less to execute. Be certain that every room has at least two exits, that every family knows how to quickly get out of the home and designate a spot for you to all reconvene outside to check in.

Limit your fire risks. There are many ways to get into the habit of fire safety to lessen your overall fire risk profile. There are many things you can do around the home to prevent fires, such as always supervising candles or open flames, never leaving the room while the oven is on and not overloading your electrical outlets with heat-producing appliances.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Though there are many fires that will immediately be too large to use a fire extinguisher on, if there is a small and contained fire, knowing how to use one can keep a small issue from becoming a large one. A working fire extinguisher should be installed in the kitchen and any other high-risk areas, and you and your family members should all be familiar with how to use it.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 247 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response.

Prioritize Safety Every Time You Grill | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

a person in grilling chicken and hot dogs on an outdoor grill SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills are the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online.

There is no better way to make the most of a summer day than cooking your dinner on the grill, but it is important to remember that this is an activity that involves an open flame and thus plenty of hazards. Though you may grill multiple times a week, it is important to always be vigilant about fire safety in the process.

Reports from the U.S. Fire Administration indicate that there are over 5,500 grill-related fire incidents every year, leading to millions in household damages. As with any fire safety lesson, the best strategy is simply doing what you can to prevent this from happening.

Being Vigilant About Fire Safety Every Time You Grill

Create a safe zone around your grill. You want your grill to be in a convenient location, but be sure you are still being safe about where you set it up. A minimum of a three-foot buffer around the grill is advised, as flare-ups can be quite large and ignite anything in their surroundings.

Clean your grill grates often. After using your grill each time, taking a few minutes to brush down the grates can make a big difference. The bits of food that get left behind can build up and become a fire hazard, especially if you are cooking meats with a lot of grease on them. These flare-ups can happen suddenly and be quite dangerous, so a prevention strategy is the best approach.

Never leave the grill unattended. If you need to take a break, get something from inside or otherwise take your attention off the grill, you should always designate someone else to attend it in your place. Even in a moment, a fire can start and begin causing damages. Always act as though this is possible and be sure your fire extinguisher is handy, too.

Inspect the grill regularly. Gas grills have several parts that can fail over time, meaning that regular inspection is key to avoid a serious fire. Gas lines that run the propane to the grill can fail with time, and if you do not check them, a leak can be disastrous when you go to light the grill.

If you have a grill fire do damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

Preparing Your Staff for Fire Evacuation | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills specializes in commercial fire restoration.

An important component of running a business is enhancing the safety of your work site to reduce the overall risk of the workplace. It is important to consider how a fire at your business could impact your safety plans and how you can better prepare staff just in case one occurs.

Planning a fire evacuation protocol and making sure staff are aware of it is one of the best ways to protect everyone who works at your business. The moment a fire starts can be a time fraught with panic, but if everyone knows exactly what to do, you can get everyone to safety much more efficiently.

How to Create a Fire Evacuation Plan for the Workplace

Consult with your local fire officials. Your local fire officials are a great resource for your business in all aspects of fire safety. Consult with them regarding your business and they will be happy to discuss the best fire evacuation routes and any special considerations you may need to take into account as you plan ahead.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After you have decided what paths will be your designated routes to safety, mark them clearly and communicate the plan with your employees. Set everyone up for success before hosting your first drill by preparing them ahead of time so everyone is clear on the protocols.

Have fire drills frequently. In times of high stress—such as when a fire breaks out—knowing exactly what to do will help everyone stay calm and confident as they get to safety. To be certain that everyone fully understands the fire safety protocol, host evacuation drills at least every few months so there is ample opportunity to practice.

Run different fire scenarios. A fire could be started by any number of things, so make sure you have fire drill scenarios that reflect this. You should run them for multiple fire origin situations, including hot spots such as the kitchen, desk clusters that utilize a lot of power and any other areas where a fire may plausibly break out.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

Our Tips for Recovering From Residential Fire Damage | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

While house fires are dangerous and alarming themselves, the recovery process can also feel complicated and quite a bit scary. Even for small fires that were put out quickly, the damage done by smoke, soot, and extinguishing agents can be severe and widespread, reminding you every day of such a traumatic event.

In order to help you recover, we have assembled some must-know guidance for household fire recovery.

Must-Know Guidance for Household Fire Recovery

Prepare yourself for what to expect. Though we have all likely seen images of fire damage online or on the news, experiencing it in your own home with your own belongings is a much different phenomenon. It is important to ready yourself emotionally for the damages and understand that there might be items damaged by smoke or soot that were nowhere near the flames.

Wait to enter your home. While it is normal to want to assess the damage done to your home and belongings right away, it is important to wait until officials have deemed it safe before you do so. There can be significant hidden damage throughout the home that could put you in danger, and the particles in the air can make it hazardous to breathe. By waiting until officials give you the green light, you can be sure you are not causing further damage to yourself.

Contact your insurance company. Once you are able to get an idea of the significance of the damage, contact your insurance provider and let them know about the situation. All insurance is varied in how they handle the claims process, so it is best to get the details straight from them regarding what to do and how to proceed.

Document the damages. Because there are so many details involved with recovery, documenting your damages well can help you keep everything organized. Make an inventory list of everything that has been impacted and take plenty of pictures of the damaged areas of the home. This will be helpful when you are filing your insurance claim as well as when it is time to replace key items in your home.

Contact your restoration company. The restoration company you decide to work with is one of the biggest factors in how quick and smooth your recovery process is. The lingering trauma from a fire can be persistent, so having a company that has your best interest in mind can do wonders for making the process as painless as possible.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

Teaching Children About Fire Safety Tips | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

a girl, boy and women holding toddler looking at fire If your family has been impacted by a fire, you can count on us for restoration. Contact us 24/7 to begin the fire and smoke restoration process.

Though talking with children about fire safety may not be the most fun conversation, for the safety of your family, it is one of the most important that you can have.

While teaching children about the dangers of fire may seem like something that will scare them more than it will help, by taking an age-appropriate approach, you can better prepare them for a fire without giving them unnecessary fears.

Age-Appropriate Ways to Teach Fire Safety

Focus on Evacuation as the No. 1 Priority

If your kids do not know how to react to a fire alarm, their first priority if one sounds might be to hide or run to you—when really, their focus should be to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Teach children who are old enough to understand that evacuating through a safe, smoke-free exit is the No. 1 priority when the fire alarm sounds—and reassure them that you will meet at your designated spot to check that everyone is OK.

Make Your Chat About What They Can do, Not About Dangers

Sometimes, learning about fire safety can actually make children more afraid of fire than safety-conscious, which is why framing it right is important. Instead of focusing on how dangerous a house fire can be, focus on what children can do around the house to prevent fires. Explaining that they should never play with matches or electrical outlets is much less alarming than going into details about how much damage a fire can do.

Create a Fire Escape Plan as a Family

Allowing your children to get involved in your fire escape plan will not only help them feel safer and more in control when it comes to fire safety, but it will also help them remember the details of the plan in a much more concrete way. Making the drafting and practicing of your fire escape plan a family affair will make sure everyone is on the same page and fully aware of what to do should a fire start in any area of the house.

If your family has been impacted by a fire, you can count on us for restoration. Contact  us  24/7  to begin the fire and smoke restoration process.

Tips for increasing fore safety around the house

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

If you are aiming to increase your household’s fire safety efforts, all the tips circulating online may seem overwhelming. However, with over 350,000 fires occurring every year according to the National Fire Protection Association’s data, it is important to do everything you can to keep your household safe.

 To help you keep the most important tips in mind, we have organized them based on the rooms in your house so you can do a thorough fire safety check for your family.

Fire Safety Tips for Each Room of the House

Fire Safety Tips for the Kitchen:

  • Keep a working fire extinguisher stored in the kitchen and be sure everyone in the family knows how to operate it.
  • Make sure any matches or lighters are stored out of reach of children.
  • Store chemicals and other flammable materials in accordance with the safety guidelines listed on the product.
  • Clear out the crumb trays on toasters and toaster ovens regularly.

 Fire Safety Tips for the Bedrooms

  • Never leave open flames—even candles or guarded fireplaces—unattended.
  • Use space and portable heaters with caution.
  • Discontinue use of frayed phone chargers and other cables immediately.
  • Sleep with bedroom doors closed to stop the spread of nighttime fires.
  • Install a smoke detector in each sleeping area of the house.
  • Keep lamps and electronics that produce heat (i.e. computers) away from curtains or drapes.

 General Fire Safety Tips

  • Check your smoke detectors at least once a month and be sure there are two exits from each room in the home.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at least twice per year with the entire family.
  • Keep fire extinguishers throughout the house, especially in common areas.
  • Clear out dryer lint trays often.
  • Do not run extension cords under rugs, through doors or around corners where they might become pinched.

Prepare for Fires if You Own a Business | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

a green exit sign surrounded by flames If your business has experienced a fire, call SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills. We provide a full service from mitigation to restoration.

Business owners have to plan for a variety of things, but one of the most essential hazards to plan for is a commercial fire.

Fires happen quite frequently and for a variety of reasons, which is why it is important to always be vigilant about being safe. Increasing your fire preparedness in the workplace will keep your staff safe, reduce your business liability and help you recover more quickly in the aftermath.

Making sure your business is up to code, understanding the risks that are likely and doing regular equipment checks are all key components to fire preparedness on the job. Creating a fire-safe environment starts with leadership, so here is how you can do your part:

What to Do to Increase Workplace Fire Preparedness

Follow code guidelines and inspection schedules. Following codes and regulations for fire safety set by the National Fire Protection Association is a great start to making sure your business is prepared. Doing monthly alarm checks and working with your local fire department will help you make sure you are adhering to these guidelines and lessening your risks.

Identify your specific risks. While a fire could start for many reasons, it is important to know the industry-specific risks your business may face. Whether you are a restaurant, a business that utilizes strong chemicals or a technical-focused firm with many electronics, knowing the risks specific to your building will go a long way.

Create (and practice) a fire evacuation plan. When the fire alarm sounds, it is instinctual for people to panic. One way to get ahead of the hysteria that may ensue is by making sure your employees are prepared—by having a fire evacuation plan and rehearsing it with everyone regularly, you can get ahead of the panic by making sure everyone knows exactly what to do.

Have regular fire safety seminars with staff. Meeting with staff regularly to review fire safety tips will make sure that new hires, those who work irregular schedules and everyone else on the premises is aware of and prepared for the fire risks in the building. Be sure everyone knows what to do when the fire alarm sounds, where extinguishers are located and any other tips specific to your building that should be noted.

If your business has experienced a fire, we’re here 247 to respond and begin restoration. Call us today to learn how we can help you.

Fire Safety Tips Worth Noting / SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hillsh noting

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

a person laying another wood log into hot burning fireplace into hot burning fireplace A house fire can occur when you least expect it. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is on call 24/7 and will guide you through any fire restoration.

Fire safety is an important aspect of any household and doing what you can to increase your preparedness efforts is a wise decision. Fires can cause severe damage to your home and belongings, but there can also lead to devastating injuries and losses for your love ones.

There are countless worthwhile fire safety tips out there, but they are often scattered around and difficult to find all in one place. That is why we have to put together a list of some of the top fire safety tips to be aware of, so you can have all the information you need in one place.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Home

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Smoke alarms are one of the best tools for fire safety. Installing them in every room and in the main part of every story of the house is recommended, and it is best to utilize an interconnected system to they will all sound at once. Smoke alarms should be tested at least every 30 days and re[laced every 10 years to remain operational.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. A fire escape plan is a fantastic tool for everyone in the household to make use of.  By creating a plan for what to do and where to meet to minimize confusion and increase safety.

Know How To Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Having the right fire extinguisher in your home can make all the difference between a close call and a devastating fire. Make sure to select the right category and inform every family of how to use one.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Many of us deal with open flames every day without a second thought-fireplaces, candles, and stovetops are all common culprits. While these may seem mostly harmless, always remember that any open flame increases your risk of a house fire. This is why it is always recommended to stay in the room with an open flame at all times.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. It is common for house fires to begin at night, which is why having a smoke alarm in each bedroom is advised. Additionally, sleeping with the door closed can slow down the fire's spread, allowing you to have more time to react and escape the flames.

If you'd like to learn more about protecting yourself yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

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)

Image of fire in trees 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!