Listen to the live radio interview with Firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. at 7:50 a.m. on Tuesday June 28, 2022 on the WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 morning show with Ken Lanphear.

Watch this live report on WLNS 6 News in Lansing during the morning broadcast on Wednesday 06/29/2022.

Watch this live broadcast on WXMI FOX 17 in studio in Grand Rapids during the morning broadcast on Wednesday 06/29/2022 at 8:50 a.m.

 

Whether you are heading out to the campsite, traveling cross-country over the 4th of July holiday or living in a recreational vehicle (RV), it’s important to know about fire and carbon monoxide (CO) hazards present in these movable structures.

In fact since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, the purchase and use of recreational vehicles has increased significantly.  There was approximately a 7% increase in new campers in the U.S. during 2020.  People changed their plans to fly or travel abroad and chose to either rent or purchase an RV and go out and explore the outdoors through camping.

Recreational vehicle fires

According to the United States Fire Administration, from 2018 to 2020, there were an estimated average of 4,200 RV fires reported to U.S. fire departments each year.  These fires resulted in approximately 15 deaths, 125 injuries and $60,300,000 in property loss.

According to the National Park Service:

  • Recreational vehicles include everything from folding camping trailers to truck campers to luxury motor homes.
  • Eight million U.S. households own at least one RV.
  • RVs travel an average of 4,500 miles each year.

Most RV fires occur:

  • Between the hours of 2 and 3 p.m.
  • During the months of May through August.  July is the peak month.
  • On Fridays and Saturdays.

Carbon Monoxide in recreational vehicles

CO is an odorless, tasteless, invisible killer that can readily build up within the small area of an RV and cause severe illness and possibly death.  Improper use of generators is a leading cause of CO poisoning.  Malfunctioning gas-fed appliances are an additional source of CO poisoning.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety shares these life-saving tips for the RV user

  • Check propane supply lines for kinks or damage. Test all fitting connections with a gas leak detection device.
  • Turn off propane at the tank and turn off all propane-powered appliances while driving.  If you have an accident or tire blowout while the propane is on, your injury and the damage to your vehicle can be significantly worse.
  • Make sure generator exhaust is pointed away and downwind of the RV.
  • Stay in the cooking area when preparing food. If you leave, turn off the burner.
  • Have a portable fire extinguisher on board that you can easily reach. Adults should take a brief training course on how to properly use an extinguisher. Remember the acronym P.A.S.S. — Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.
  • Keep doors and windows clear for escape and make sure they open easily. Practice a fire escape plan with everyone staying in the RV.
  • Don’t overload the electrical outlets. Using too many electrical appliances at the same time can cause a fire.
  • Have a trained technician thoroughly inspect your RV at least once a year.


The above link is from the live interview with E.S.C.A.P.E.’s president and founder Michael McLeieer on the WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 Morning Show – 05/26/2022 at 7:10 a.m.


The above link is from the live interview on the FOX 17 – WXMI Morning Show at 7:40 a.m. 05/27/2022


The above link is from the interview on 6 News – WLNS at 5pm on 05/27/2022

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff weekend to the start of summertime fun.  If your weekend plans include grilling, sitting around the campfire or other outdoor celebrations, here are some important tips to keep you and your family safe!

Campfire Safety

Having a campfire can be one of the greatest joys of summer.  Whether roasting marshmallows, cooking a meal or surrounded by family and friends, it’s important to understand how to stay safe around a campfire.

  • Select an appropriate location. Before creating a campfire, make sure you understand any rules or regulations for your area. Avoid building the fire near low-hanging branches, tree roots, structures, and other flammable items. Try to choose a location where your fire will be sheltered from the wind and use campfire rings or other designated campfire accessories whenever possible.

 

  • Use the appropriate campfire fuel. Soft woods like pine, fir, and cedar are best for starting a fire. Start the fire by building a small teepee of dry sticks and igniting it with a match. As the fire gets started, add larger pieces of wood. Remember to keep the fire small. Don’t burn items that may explode or give off toxic fumes. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a campfire.  Never throw items into a fire. That includes batteries, plastic bags, glass, and aluminum cans.

         CHARCOAL GRILLS:

    • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
    • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
    • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
    • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
    • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

         PROPANE GRILLS:

    • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose.  A propane leak will release bubbles.
    • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill.  If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.  If the leak does not stop, call 911.
    • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 911.  Do not move the grill.
    • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.
  • Supervise the campfire area continuously. A responsible adult should always be present while a campfire is burning. Encourage small children and pets to stay seated several feet away from the fire. Extinguished campfire areas should still be monitored after the flames have gone out to make sure the campfire does not re-ignite and to make sure that children are not burned by embers, which still retain heat even after the fire is extinguished.

 

  • Completely extinguish the campfire. A roaring fire is both a success, and a responsibility. It is your job to properly maintain and extinguish your campfire when you are finished. Make sure you always have a large bucket of water and metal shovel on hand to put out the fire. Pour lots of water on the fire, drown all embers, not just the red ones, until the hissing sound stops. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel and pour more water on the ashes, then feel the area to make sure they are cold to the touch.

 

Grilling Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 20,000 people across the United States went to the hospital due to grilling-related injuries from 2014 to 2018.  Grills were involved in nearly 4,000 structure fires in that time.  Seven out of every ten adults in the United States have a grill or smoker, which translates to a lot of tasty meals.  But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires and thermal burns.  A grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard.  Remember:

  • Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed at least 10 feet away from your home or anything that can burn including deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in the trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

CHARCOAL GRILLS:

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

 

PROPANE GRILLS:

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose.  A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill.  If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.  If the leak does not stop, call 911.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 911.  Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.

 

 

Burn Safety

  • To reduce the risk of a burn, never leave items cooking on the stove or grill unattended.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3-feet from the grilling or cooking area.
  • Check the temperature of food before serving it to a child.
  • Never cook while wearing loose fitting clothes.
  • Cool a superficial or partial thickness burn (1st or 2nd degree) with cool running water for 15-20 minutes.  Never cool more than 10% of the body at one time.
  • Seek medical attention for all severe 2nd degree and all third degree (full-thickness) burns.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you that Memorial Day weekend activities are more fun when you know that your kids and family are safe and secure because Fire Is Everyone’s Fight®!

 



Live Interview on WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 with our president and founder Firefighter Michael McLeieer – 7:50 a.m. EDT 05/02/2022

Arson Awareness Week 2022 is May 1-7 and it highlights critical actions that emergency responders and the public must take to help ensure everyone stays safe all throughout the year.

The dangers of arson put everyone’s life in peril.  Innocent bystanders, occupants, first responders, and those committing the acts of arson all have a chance to receive debilitating injuries or worse.  The aftermath of these intentional acts can create a devasting fiscal loss for communities.

This year’s theme is Arson in Homeless Communities – Engagement – Education – Outreach.  It’s a great opportunity for numerous stakeholders to join together to combat the issue of vacant residence fires and find solutions for the growing homeless problem as well as develop fire prevention programs within the homeless community.

The focus will be on:

  • Explaining common motives for arson fires in homeless communities
  • Addressing accidental incidents of fire
  • Highlighting injury and incident statistics
  • Identifying resources and training opportunities to help the fire service create outreach strategies and programs.
  • Showcasing successful mitigation concepts throughout the United States

What is Arson? – ARSON IS THE CRIMINAL ACT OF DELIBERATELY SETTING FIRE TO PROPERTY.  (The willful, malicious, intentional and/or reckless burning of your property (dwelling) or someone else’s).

 What can you do?  If you see something, say something.  Call 911.

  • Keep an eye on your property and your neighbor’s property
  • Report anything suspicious
  • Lock vehicles, garages, barns and other out buildings

For more information about arson and ways to prevent arson, visit the United States Fire Administration’s website at www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw

 



Here are the interviews E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc.’s president and founder Michael McLeieer did promoting National Burn Awareness Week 2022.

WXMI Fox 17 – 8:40 a.m. – 02/07/2022

WKZO AM 590 & FM 106.9 radio – 9:10 a.m. – 02/07/2022



Burning Issues in the Kitchen…Watch What You Heat

The smell of a cake baking in the oven or a tasty soup simmering on the stovetop is difficult for both children and adults to resist.  However, cooking remains the number one cause of home fires in Michigan and across the United States.

That’s why National Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February, is a window of opportunity for organizations to mobilize burn, fire and life safety educators and unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in the community Where You Live.

“47% of all home fires are caused by cooking.  Adults over 65 are at a much higher risk of injury or death from a kitchen fire due to physical, visual, hearing or mental impairments that may slow the quick action necessary in a fire emergency,” according to Firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of the non-profit fire safety charity E.S.C.A.P.E.  Inc.

“Thinner skin of older adults burns faster and deeper,” according to McLeieer.

Here are some tips to stay safe and prepared!

Plan A:  Primary Prevention

  • The best time to cook is when you are wide awake and not drowsy from medications or alcohol.
  • Always wipe clean the stove, oven, and exhaust fan to prevent grease buildup.
  • Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep a pan lid and dry potholders or oven mitts near you EVERY time you cook.
  • Turn pot or pan handles toward the back of the stove.
  • When heating food in the microwave, use microwave-safe cookware that allows steam to escape.
  • Allow food to rest before removing from the microwave.
  • When frying, use a pan lid or splash guard to prevent grease splatter.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.  If you leave, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or broiling food, check it regularly.  Remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you to check on your cooking.
  • After cooking, check the kitchen to make sure all burners and other appliances are turned off.
  • Never use the oven for storage.

Plan B:  Secondary Prevention

If your food does catch on fire…

  1. Cover the pan with its lid.  A cookie sheet works too.  Leave covered until the pan is cool.  NEVER move the pot or carry it outside – the pot is too hot to handle and the contents may splash, causing a severe burn.
  2. Turn the heat off.  With the lid on and the heat off, the fire should quickly put itself out.  NEVER use water to put out a kitchen fire.  Water will cause the oil to splatter and spread the fire, or scald you as it vaporizes.
  3. If the fire is inside the oven or microwave, keep the door shut and turn it off.  Keep closed until the oven is cool.
  4. If the fire gets out of control- get out, stay out and call 9-1-1.  Don’t return inside for any reason.

National Burn Awareness Week is the perfect time to share this information, develop a fire escape plan, check your smoke alarms, and make your kitchen and entire home safe for those you care for where you live!  According to McLeieer, “preventing a burn injury is always better than the pain and trauma of medical treatment afterward.  For more information visit ameriburn.org/prevention/burn-awareness-week.


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