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.
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.
The most wonderful time of the year is also the most likely time of the year for home fires. Home fires during the holiday season often involve space heaters, candles, holiday decorations and Christmas trees. By taking some preventative steps, using common sense, and following some simple rules, most home fires can be prevented during the H.O.L.I.D.A.Y. season and beyond.
Have a home safety escape plan, practice two ways out of every room. One way out could be a door and the second way out could be a window.
Outside – Go outside to your family meeting place when the smoke alarm sounds and during fire or smoke conditions.
Lighters and matches are tools for adults not toys for kids. Make sure you secure them out of the reach of young and curious hands.
Inspect holiday lights and wiring for damage. Replace defective accessories.
Detectors – Both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors make great gifts.
Always turn off a space heater and holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the room.
You can take charge of your holiday safety Where You Live!
‘Tis the season to water your Christmas tree daily to keep it from becoming dry. Also use care with candles and electric lights to keep this joyous time of year safe. More than 1 out of every 4 home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. A heat source too close to the tree causes 1 in every 4 of the fires.
Use flameless candles instead of real candles to prevent a home fire.
Create a 1-foot circle of safety (keeping anything that can burn away) if you decide to use real candles. Always blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
Choose holiday decorations that are labeled flame retardant or not flammable.
Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources and room exits.
Place fireplace ashes in a metal container with a lid and place the container outside and away from buildings and other combustibles.
Remember as you deck the halls this season, be fire smart and don’t burn them down.
Making sure your family has a safe escape plan in case of a fire in your home is important to ensure everyone’s safety. Since October is National Fire Prevention Month, Maranda from WOOD TV 8 and WOTV 4 Women visited the Newaygo Fire Department along with her friends from E.S.C.A.P.E Fire Safety to talk about how they are promoting and encouraging fire safety in the community.
These fire safety experts encourage families to make an escape plan and talk about it with your family so everyone is on the same page incase a fire breaks out in your home. They also suggest not only planning the escape plan, but also practicing it so kids will have the muscle memory to react fast in the case of an emergency. They also strongly suggest all families to check smoke and carbon dioxide detectors at least every 6 months to ensure they’re working and up to date.
Maranda thanked her friends from the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA for awarding her the Certificate of Appreciation for “exemplary service and commitment to our community”. What an honor! Thank you, Maranda for all you do serving our community!
For more information on fire safety, visit escapeinc.org or visit your local fire department.
It’s Fire Prevention Week this week and to help keep families prepared Fire Lieutenant Michael McLeieer of E.S.C.A.P.E Fire Safety provided information including a family friendly activity so your family can plan and practice your ESCAPE in case of a fire!
Fifteen to twenty years ago, homes had more ‘natural’ materials in them such as cotton, wool and untreated wood. Because of this, you had 15-20 minutes to escape in the event of a fire. In a typical home fire today, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds, because of all of the synthetic materials. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.
According to a National Fire Protection Association survey, 71% of households have a fire escape plan, but only 47% of those have practiced it. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape.™ provides an opportunity for fire and life safety organizations to share how important it is for everyone to have and practice a home fire escape plan.
Many in the community don’t understand the risks from life-threatening heat and toxic smoke produced in a fire. Therefore, firefighters and other community advocates will be working hard throughout October to teach the community about the dangers of fire and smoke, the importance of having working smoke alarms installed throughout their home and help them create and practice a home escape plan.
Why home escape planning and practice matter
Home escape planning and practice ensure that everyone knows what to do in a fire and is prepared to escape quickly and safely
Today’s homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds.
When the smoke alarm sounds in a real fire, it’s too late to start to make a plan.
Sleep with your bedroom door closed. A closed door can actually be an effective barrier against deadly levels of carbon monoxide, smoke and flames – plus it might buy you more time to escape.
What should be included on an escape plan
Draw or map out the layout of your home, marking two exits from every room (typically a door and a window) and a path from each exit to the outside.
Pick a meeting place outside in front of your home where everyone will meet upon exiting (examples include a sidewalk, fence, driveway, or neighbor’s house).
Mark the location of all smoke alarms in your home. (There should be a least one on every level, in each bedroom, and near all sleeping areas).
Make sure everyone knows how to call 911 or the local emergency number from a mobile phone or neighbor’s phone once they’re safety outside.
Learning about the dangers of fire will help children and adults understand that having a plan is not enough. It’s essential to practice the escape plan with all members of your household at least twice a year so everyone knows what to do if there is a fire in their home.
E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you in a fire, seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragic injury or death. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take the time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire and steps they can take to prevent a fire from occurring throughout the year Where You Live!
If you need a free smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm installed in the primary home you own and occupy, visit https://bit.ly/2p5czQX for a list of Operation Save A Life installation programs.
About Fire Prevention Week
Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in the United States. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
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 during 2017.
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, attend a public fireworks display 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:
Proceed with caution!
Be safe. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by the professionals. To find a fireworks display near you, check out the listings on woodtv.com.
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 ignites at 356 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 use alcohol with fireworks.
Follow the local ordinance and state law regarding the use of consumer fireworks.
Leave pets at home and keep them inside during fireworks displays.
To learn more about the new state law and your local ordinance pertaining to fireworks,click here.
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 Where You Live!
On May 18, 2019, Lt. Michael McLeieer from the Olivet Fire Department in Eaton County and the President and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. was elected President of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association at the 144th Annual Conference held in Frankenmuth. He also is the Program Coordinator of the WOTV Operation Save A Life program.
McLeieer will be providing guidance and vision as he and the MSFA Executive Board implement strategies to provide the tools for firefighters and fire departments throughout Michigan to keep their communities safe, healthy, prepared and resilient.
Michigan continues to be a leading state in the country for civilian fire deaths in the home. There is also a shortage of firefighter candidates in many communities throughout the state. The recruitment and retention of qualified firefighters is essential to maintaining a safe and healthy community. That’s why the MSFA has partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council by supporting its national initiative called Make Me A Firefighter, said McLeieer
“One key to retention has been utilizing new volunteers on proactive projects such as installing new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in owner occupied homes, providing “hands-only” CPR education in the schools, and teaching the public ways to identify and reduce risky actions which may result in injury or even death,” according to McLeieer.
Approximately 70 percent of fire departments are served by paid-on-call or volunteer firefighters, and roughly 30 percent are served by paid career firefighters. So when seven out of every ten firefighters or emergency responders are volunteers, fire departments have to make sure that those interested in their local communities understand they can make a difference and a positive impact. McLeieer has been told the hardest thing for the local fire department is just getting the word out and let people know that the department is seeking volunteers.
The Maranda Park Party season started off with lots of energy and excitement at Lamar Park in Wyoming on Thursday June 21, 2018 (the first day of summer).
Nearly 8,500 people came out to enjoy all of the great fun and food for free. Whether it was flying down the zip line, grabbing a fruit snack from the Meijer Food Truck, learning about fire safety inside the E.S.C.A.P.E. Mobile Training Center or checking out the Rapid Bus, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
This party set the tone for all of the fun-filled parties to come for the rest of the summer.