Join Jake the Fire Safety Dog and visit the E.S.C.A.P.E. smoke demonstration trailer as E.S.C.A.P.E. joins the Calhoun County Early Childhood Connections and Celebrates the Day of the Child, Thursday April 30th from 4pm – 6:30 pm at the Multi-Sports Complex at the Battle Creek YMCA, 182 Capital Avenue, NE.  All families in Calhoun County with children birth to five are encouraged to attend this free event.

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Firefighters across West Michigan are participating in a program to help families stay safe in the event of a fire. Operation Save A Life is a new program through WOTV 4 Women, Kidde, Home Depot, and E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. that offers free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, installed in homes by trained firefighters.

Fire deaths are up dramatically in West Michigan, and the first line of defense is early warning from smoke alarms. A smoke alarm should be installed on every level of a home and inside and outside each bedroom. Smoke alarms should be tested once a month. Non long-life battery operated smoke alarms should be changed twice a year, and any smoke alarm should be replaced every ten years. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of your home.

>>> Fire safety tips from E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc.

Fire departments take the message of fire safety directly into West Michigan school to teach children what to do in case of a fire. Those messages include stop, drop, and roll, home escape planning, practicing fire drills, calling 911, and the importance of working smoke alarms. Community outreach is just as important. Fire departments partner with cities, counties, and organizations like the American Red Cross to spread the word about fire safety.

For a complete list of West Michigan smoke alarm installation programs, call your local fire department or click here.  If your community is not listed or you have questions about smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or home fire safety, send an email to


Fire prevention starts with education and partnership. That was the key message when Maranda stopped by Walker Fire Department’s Station #2 in Grand Rapids to talk about Operation Save A Life which will be featured on “Maranda Where You Live” on April 15 at 7 p.m.

Operation Save A Life is the public service campaign that WOOD TV8/WOTV 4 Women kicked off in March thanks to a partnership between WOTV 4 Women, E.S.C.A.P.E Fire Safety, The Home Depot and Kidde, the smoke alarm manufacturer that so generously donated 2,500 smoke alarms and 500 carbon monoxide alarms.

Firefighters from all across West Michigan were on hand to talk to third graders from Zinser Elementary School in Kenowa Hills. The kids made the special field trip to learn all about fire safety and smoke alarms. They also got an up-close look at the fire apparatus and met Jake the Fire Safety Dog!

Maranda also talked with State Fire Marshal Richard Miller who emphasized how having working smoke alarms in your home can cut in half your risk of dying in a fire. He also talked about how important partnerships are between fire departments and companies such as Kidde for fire education and prevention programs, noting a similar statewide program, Michigan S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarms for Everyone) that launched last year. Olivet Fire Department Lt. Michael McLeieer, who is also the founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. and the program coordinator of Operation Save A Life, opened the show explaining just how the program came about and how it will positively impact the area.

Thanks to Operation Save a Life, participating fire departments from five West Michigan counties are busy installing smoke alarms in homes where they are most needed. The area was particularly hard hit this winter with a high number of home fires and related deaths.

For a complete list of West Michigan smoke alarm installation programs, click here. If your community is not listed or you have questions about smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or home fire safety, send an email to