The E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety Program will recognize its one millionth child to learn about fire safety inside the Mobile Training Center in Battle Creek.

The E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety Program will recognize its one millionth child to learn about fire safety inside the Mobile Training Center Thursday July 31st in Battle Creek.



The last Maranda Park Party of the summer kicks off on Thursday, July 31, at Northwestern Middle School in Battle Creek! There will be free lunch for anyone 18 and under starting at 11:30 a.m., while supplies last. The party is from noon to 2 p.m. with rides, activities, games, entertainment, and prizes. Everyone is invited and everything is free!

A special surprise at this Park Party includes announcing the One Millionth Child to visit the E.S.C.A.P.E. Mobile Training Center, a 38′ interactive smoke demonstration trailer.  The winning child and his or her family will win a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, a Meijer Gas Card courtesy of Liberty Mutual Insurance, 4 passes to the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, free haircut passes for 4 to Coachlight Barber Shop in Portage, an E.S.C.A.P.E. T-shirt, ball cap, a chance to get a photo taken with Jake The Fire Safety Dog and meet Maranda as well as other surprises!

Buses will be making stops at area locations to transport kids to and from the Park Party.

School Location Departure times:

11 a.m. – Depart Fremont Elementary, Fremont St.
11:20 a.m. – Depart Franklin Elementary, Newark St.
11:30 a.m. – Depart Coburn Elementary, Fairhome Ave
11:40 a.m. – Depart W.K. Kellogg, McCamly St.
11:50 a.m. – Arrive at Northwestern Middle School


Springfield Apartment Bus Stops 

11:15 a.m. – Depart Wyndtree Apartments at Wyndtree & Harmonia

11:20 a.m. – Depart Brookside Apartments on W. Dickman Road (meet at office)
11:25 a.m. – Depart Fairlane Apartments on Avenue A (meet at office)
11:35 a.m. – Depart River Apartments on Stringham Road (meet at office)
11:45 a.m. – Arrive at Northwestern Middle School

Return trips depart from Northwestern Middle School at 2:15 p.m.

It’s fun and natural to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities in the summer.  However, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin and eyes in as little as 15 minutes. Keep in mind the sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Following these recommendations will help protect yourself and your family during these warm, sunny days in West Michigan.


You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside – even when you’re in the shade.


When possible, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing certified under international standards comes with information on its ultraviolet protection factor. If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. Keep in mind that a typical T-shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.


For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection. If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or by staying in the shade.


Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection.  Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side. Stop by one of Maranda’s Park Parties for a limited supply of a free pair of sunglasses courtesy of Jake The Fire Safety Dog and E.S.C.A.P.E.

Jake The Fire Safety Dog is protected from UV rays from the sun!

Jake The Fire Safety Dog is protected from the UV rays of the sun!


Put on sunscreen before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. Remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.

How sunscreen works

Most sun protection products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. They contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. All products do not have the same ingredients; if your skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or call a doctor.

  • SPF: Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
  • Reapplication: Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
  • Expiration date: Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.
  • Cosmetics: Some makeup and lip balms contain some of the same chemicals used in sunscreens. If they do not have at least SPF 15, don’t use them by themselves.


Kids spend a lot of time outdoors, often in and out of water. When selecting sunscreen for their children, parents and caregivers should look for products that are broad spectrum, water resistant for 80 minutes, and always follow re-application instructions. It is recommended that kids use a secondary form of protection such as long sleeve shirts or hats.

By taking some simple actions, you and your family will stay safe and have fun in the summer sun, Where You Live!


Every year in the United States, we celebrate the Fourth of July with community parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks – the things of which happy memories are made. But sadly, Independence Day also includes tragic events resulting from fireworks use.  On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. Fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for more than half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.  The safest way to enjoy them is through public displays conducted by professional pyrotechnicians hired by communities.


Who is at Most Risk?

In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks-related injuries. 73 percent of these injuries occurred between June 18 – July 18. Of these:

  • 65 percent were to males and 35 percent were to females.
  • Children under 15 years old accounted for 40 percent of the estimated injuries.
  • Children and young adults under 20 years old had 53 percent of the estimated injuries.
  • An estimated 900 injuries were associated with firecrackers. Of these, an estimated 30 percent were associated with small firecrackers, 17 percent with illegal firecrackers, and 53 percent where the type of firecracker was not specified.
  • An estimated 1,200 injuries were associated with sparklers and 400 with bottle rockets.
  • The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (30 percent), legs (22 percent), eyes (21 percent), and head, face, and ears (16 percent).
  • More than half of the injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to all parts of the body except the eyes, where contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eye occurred more frequently.
  • Most patients were treated at the emergency department and then released. An estimated 7 percent of patients were treated and transferred to another hospital or admitted to the hospital.
  • In 2009, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,800 people for fireworks related injuries.
  • 18,000 fires were caused by fireworks in 2009 resulting in $38 million in direct property loss, including 1,300 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires.
  • “Safe and sane” fireworks are neither.  Fireworks and sparklers are designed to explode or throw off showers of hot sparks.  Temperatures may exceed 1,200 degrees F for fireworks.  The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of about 2,000 degrees F.  This is hot enough to melt some metals and cause third degree burns.
  • As of 2009, the following four states have banned access by the public to all fireworks:  Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

How and Why Do These Injuries Occur?

  • Availability: In spite of federal regulations and varying state prohibitions, many types of fireworks are still accessible to the public. Distributors often sell fireworks near state borders, where laws prohibiting sales on either side of the border may differ.
  • Fireworks type: Among the various types of fireworks, some of which are sold legally in some states, bottle rockets can fly into peoples’ faces and cause eye injuries; sparklers can ignite clothing (sparklers burn at about 2,000°F); and firecrackers can injure the hands or face if they explode at close range.
  • Being too close: Injuries may result from being too close to fireworks when they explode; for example, when someone leans over to look more closely at a firework that has been ignited, or when a misguided bottle rocket hits a nearby person.
  • Lack of physical coordination: Younger children often lack the physical coordination to handle fireworks safely.
  • Curiosity: Children are often excited and curious around fireworks, which can increase their chances of being injured (for example, when they re-examine a firecracker dud that initially fails to ignite).
  • Experimentation: Homemade fireworks (for example, ones made of the powder from several firecrackers) can lead to dangerous and unpredictable explosions.


What Can I Do?

The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home – period.  Attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.