Interview with Firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. on the WKZO Morning Show – 11/24/2023 7:50 a.m.

When most people think about the holidays, family festivals and good cheer with friends likely come to mind. What few of us consider is that the holidays also present an increased risk of home fires. Home fires during the holiday season often involve Candles, Christmas trees, holiday decorations and lights. By taking some preventative steps, using common sense and following some simple rules, most home fires can be prevented during the holidays and beyond.

Candles

  • Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays; December is the peak month for home candle fires.

 

  • More than half of all candle fires start because the candles had been too close to things that could catch fire.

 

  • When burning candles, keep them at least 1-foot away from anything that can burn (create a 1-foot circle of safety), and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.

 

  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where two of five U.S. candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.

 

  • Never leave a child or pets alone in a room with a burning candle.

 

  • Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles.

 

Christmas Trees, Holiday Decorations and Lights

  • U.S. fire departments annually respond to an average of 250 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Nearly half of them are caused by electrical problems, and one in four resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree.

 

  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant. If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand and be sure to water it daily.

 

  • Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.

 

  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

 

  • Plug decorations directly into outlets. Avoid using and overloading extension cords and power strips.

 

  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

 

  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.

 

Give the Gift of Safety – smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, escape ladders.

 

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you by following these simple yet important safety tips, everyone in your family will have a “fire-safe” holiday season!

For more holiday fire safety tips, visit www.escapeinc.org or call toll free 1-844-978-4400.

Other Holiday fire safety tips links:




Thanksgiving is all about the food, and the kitchen can be a chaotic place as families get all the goods ready for the feast. This also makes Thanksgiving the most common time for cooking fires; when there are more than double the average of any other day.

To avoid disaster this holiday season, E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety offers a few simple tips so families can enjoy time with loved ones and keep themselves safer from fire.

If you are roasting your turkey, make sure you set a timer. This way, you won’t forget about the bird as you watch the parade or football game.

Deep frying a turkey may be delicious but it also can be dangerous. If frying a turkey:

  • Use a fryer with thermostat controls. This will ensure the oil does not become overheated.
  • Thaw your turkey completely. Ice on the bird will cause the oil to splatter.
  • Don’t overfill the pot with oil. The oil will overflow when adding the turkey causing a fire hazard.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the fryer to protect against burn injuries.
  • Also, always use the fryer outdoors on a sturdy, level surface away from things that can burn.

Stuffing and Potatoes:

  • Stand by the stove when boiling potatoes or frying onions for the stuffing. It’s best to stay in the kitchen when frying, boiling, or broiling. It’s easier to catch spills or hazardous conditions before they become a fire.

Vegetables:

  • Keep the area around the stove clear of food packaging, paper towels, and dishcloths; anything that can burn.
  • Be sure to clean up any spills as they happen.
  • Be prepared! Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
  • Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove so you don’t bump them.

By following these safety tips, families can have a safe, fire-free Thanksgiving!

 



Thanksgiving Day is a time to spend with family and friends.  It’s also the peak day of the year for home fires.  Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. spoke with Ken Lanphear on the WKZO Morning Show on Tuesday 11/21/2023 at 7:50 a.m. and shared several tips to prevent a home fire.

 



The kitchen is an important place as we move through the week of Thanksgiving. It makes keeping fire safety in mind important, especially when there is a lot of activity and a lot of people in the home.

The United States Fire Administration says Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires and frying food increases the risk. The average number of reported home fires in the United States on Thanksgiving Day is more than double the average number of home fires on all other days. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occurred most frequently from noon to 3 p.m., when many people most likely were preparing Thanksgiving dinner.

Michael McLeieer with E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety joined FOX 17 to share some simple tips to keep everyone safe.

Turkey:

  • If you are roasting a turkey, make sure you set a timer so you don’t forget about it as you watch the parade or football game

Deep frying a turkey:

  • Use a fryer with thermostat controls to make sure the oil does not become overheated
  • Thaw your turkey completely. Ice on the bird will cause oil to splatter
  • Don’t overfill the pot with oil
  • Keep children and pets at least three-feet away from the fryer to protect against burn injuries
  • Always use the fryer outdoors on a sturdy, level surface away from anything that can burn

Stuffing and Potatoes:

  • Stand by your stove while boiling tomatoes or frying onions. it makes it easier to catch spills or hazardous conditions before they become a fire.

 



October 8 – 14, 2023 marks Fire Prevention Week!

It’s no secret that food brings people together. Spending time in the kitchen can be a fun way to bring family and friends together, whether you’re making a favorite family recipe, baking up a delicious dessert or experimenting with a new ingredient. But the fun can quickly turn to chaos if a fire occurs in the kitchen.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) says cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.” This year, October 8-14 is recognized as Fire Prevention Week.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the United States respond to an estimated average of 172,000 home cooking fires each year. Those fires cause an estimated 550 deaths, 4,820 injuries and more than $1 billion in property damage a year.

“To prevent cooking fires, you must stay alert,” says firefighter Michael McLeieer, president of the nonprofit E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety. “You will not be alert if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol, or have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy.”

As you start preparing your next meal and organizing that large family feast, remember to play it safe! E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety, First Alert, the NFPA and USFA have some steps you can take to keep your kitchen and kids safe and prevent fires.

Remain in the Kitchen When Cooking

  • An adult should remain in the kitchen when anyone is frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
  • Stay at home when simmering, baking or roasting food and check it regularly.
  • Watch what you heat – Use a timer when cooking to help ensure you don’t lose track of the time.  This is an especially important kitchen fire safety tip for beginner cooks.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so that no one can bump the pot or pull it over.
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby while cooking.  Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire as this will put the fire out.

Keep the Kitchen Free from Clutter

  • Remove items that do not belong in the kitchen and avoid any additional fire hazards.
  • Be mindful of kitchen materials that are flammable and can easily start fires such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels, curtains or even excess food packaging and keep them away from the stovetop or other cooking surfaces.
  • Give everything a specific place in the kitchen to help reduce the risk of it being left out and catching fire, ensuring the kitchen remains a safe place.

Unplug or Turn Off Appliances

  • Unplug any countertop appliances when they are not in use, like toasters and coffee makers.  This will help reduce the risk of a fire starting.
  • Turn off the appliance you are using as soon as you are finished cooking your food.
  • Clean off leftover dust, food crumbs and grease from your stovetop after use.

Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home including in the basement.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month, replace 9-volt smoke alarm batteries at least once a year and replace alarms every 10 years.
  • Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home for the best protection so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.  When you hear a smoke alarm, you may have less than 2 minutes to get everyone outside and safe.  Call 9-1-1 once outside and at the pre-designated meeting place (tree, neighbor’s house, etc.).
  • Make sure everyone can hear the sound of the smoke alarm anywhere in the home.
  • For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, install smoke alarms with alert devices (pillow or bed shaker or a flashing strobe light).
  • Install smoke alarms away from the kitchen to prevent nuisance alarms.  They should be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.

Create a Kid-Free Zone Around Your Stove While Cooking

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto a burner.

By following these safety tips, you will have a delicious and fire-safe meal!

Here are our television and radio broadcasts promoting Fire Prevention Week 2023

Maranda visits the Coopersville Polkton Fire Department in Ottawa County to learn from experts about the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme which focuses on safe cooking. – 10-05-2023 11:45 a.m and 3:45 p.m.

 

WILX News 10 interviews the PIO for Michigan MABAS, Michael McLeieer near Lansing, MI about the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme. – 10-08-2023 6pm

 

Fox 17‘s Max Goldwasser interviews E.S.C.A.P.E.’s president and founder firefighter Michael McLeieer about the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme. – 10-09-2023 7:20 a.m.

WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 Morning Show Host Ken Lanphear interviews E.S.C.A.P.E. founder Michael McLeieer about Fire Prevention Week 2023 – 10-09-2023 8:15 a.m.

 

10-09-2023 – Max Goldwasser expands his fire safety interview during the 9 am hour after 2 children died in an overnight house fire in the City of Kalamazoo.

 

10-10-2023 10 a.m. – Michael McLeieer visits the Fox 17 Morning Mix to share fire prevention tips.

 

Read More



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/22/2022 WKZO Radio Interview 7:10 a.m. with Firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc.

 

12-19-2022 Fox 17 Interview live in studio.

When most people think about the holidays, family festivals and good cheer with friends likely come to mind. What few of us consider is that the holidays also present an increased risk of home fires. Home fires during the holiday season often involve Candles, Christmas trees, holiday decorations and space heaters. By taking some preventative steps, using common sense and following some simple rules, most home fires can be prevented during the holidays and beyond.

Candles

  • Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays; December is the peak month for home candle fires.
  • More than half of all candle fires start because the candles had been too close to things that could catch fire.
  • When burning candles, keep them at least 1-foot away from anything that can burn (create a 1-foot circle of safety), and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where two of five U.S. candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Never leave a child or pets alone in a room with a burning candle.
  • Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles.

Christmas Trees

  • U.S. fire departments annually respond to an average of 250 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Nearly half of them are caused by electrical problems, and one in four resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree.
  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant. If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand and be sure to water it daily.
  • Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.
  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
  • After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage or placed outside the home.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Space Heaters

  • Half of all home heating fires occur during the months of December, January and February.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3-feet from all heat sources including space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves and radiators.
  • Turn off space heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Space heaters, stoves and ovens are not designed as primary heating appliances.
  • Always plug a space heater directly into a wall outlet.  Never use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Select a space heater that has the label of a nationally recognized testing laboratory (e.g. U.L) and select a space heater that turns off automatically if it tips over.
  • If you or someone you know is having difficulty paying a heating bill during the months of November through March, contact your local utility or call 2-1-1 to determine eligibility for a Winter Protection Plan or financial assistance and avoid a service shut-off.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you by following these simple yet important safety tips, everyone in your family will have a “fire-safe” holiday season!

For more holiday fire safety tips, visit www.escapeinc.org or call toll free 1-844-978-4400.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Prevention Week 2022 is October 9th – 15th.  The theme is Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2022 also marks the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week.  It’s the longest public health campaign in the United States.

Here is a link to the fire prevention segment between AARP Michigan and E.S.C.A.P.E.

Here is a link to the fire prevention segment on the lifestyle show eightWest on WOOD TV 8.

Here is the link to the fire prevention segment on the lifestyle show Maranda Where You Live on WOOD TV 8 and ABC 4 West Michigan on 10/10/2022.

Here is the link to the live radio interview on WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 on Morning’s with Ken Lanphear at 7:50 a.m. on 10/11/2022.

 

 



Whether you are heading out to the campsite, traveling cross-country over the summer or living in a recreational vehicle (RV), it’s important to know about fire and carbon monoxide (CO) hazards present in these movable structures Where You Live. E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety has facts on RV fires and tips on how to prevent them.

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.

 

Read More


Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that 2 out of 5 fires reported on that day are started by fireworks, more than for any other cause?  Every Independence Day holiday, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks.  Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks which include devastating burns, injuries to the eyes, hands and face, fires and even death.

According to the latest national data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 54% of those injuries were to the extremities and 36% were to the head.  Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated injuries.

In Michigan, consumer fireworks became legal January 1, 2012, and must meet CPSC standards.  They will only be sold to people 18 years of age or older.  Low impact fireworks (ground-based items such as sparklers, toy snakes, snaps, and poppers) are legal for sale and use.  In December, 2018, new measures were signed into law (House Bill 5939) that reduce the number of days fireworks can be used, give local government more power to regulate the devices and tighten consumer sales and use.

“The best way to stay safe from fireworks is to not use them.  Instead, watch a public fireworks display either in person or on television put on by trained experts,” said Firefighter Michael McLeieer, President of the non-profit fire safety charity E.S.C.A.P.E.  “Fireworks are dangerous to people and pets.  Using them puts you and your property at risk,” according to McLeieer.

  • You can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks by following a few simple safety tips:
  • Be safe.  If you want to see fireworks, watch a public show put on by the professionals
  • Parents and caregivers should always closely supervise children at events where fireworks are used
  • Hand-held sparklers burn at more than 1,200 °F and cause 3rd degree burns in seconds.  As a comparison, wood burns at 575 degrees F
  • If you decide to use sparklers, place discarded sparkler wires in a metal bucket filled with water
  • Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter (25%) of emergency room fireworks injuries
  • After the fireworks display, children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over since they may still be active
  • Adults should not consume alcohol when using fireworks
  • Leave pets at home and keep them inside during fireworks displays
  • Follow the local ordinance and state law regarding the use of consumer fireworks

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety urges Michiganders to use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and follow safety rules this Fourth of July during holiday celebrations!

 


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