10/04/2021 – WLNS 6 News – Sunday, October 3rd kicks off the start of Fire Prevention Week with experts focusing on reminding people to have working smoke alarms at home. A beeping smoke alarm in the middle of the night might be tempting to pull out the battery to make it stop. But Fire Inspector Michael Roberts with Delta Township Fire Department says don’t do it.

“It’s still very concerning how many times we have a smoke alarm issue or we have a fire and there are still not working smoke alarms in a home,” he said.

He said that people often just forget to install smoke alarms or replace the batteries. Roberts has some advice on where to place your smoke detector.

“…away from the wall, away from the exhaust fans, ductwork, ceiling fans. So that they can detect smoke the quickest, ” he said, “we personally like them up in the ceiling”.

Delta Township Fire Department recommends changing your smoke detector batteries every six months. A good rule of thumb is when you change your clocks during your daylight savings time you should also change the batteries on your smoke detectors.

But fire prevention week isn’t just a reminder to check your smoke detectors, it’s also about making sure you’re doing your part to keep firefighters safe.

“The number two cause of firefighter fatalities in the United States is vehicle accidents. And so we want to come out and make sure that everybody understands that what we do is dangerous, even when we are driving to emergencies, trying to get to people who are asking for our help,” Roberts said.

Fire safety expert Michael McLeieer says distractions like phones or loud music can keep drivers from noticing fire trucks on the road until it’s too late.

“Part of the problem today is that our vehicles today are much better insulated than what they ever used to be. And if we have a stereo on, we have the air conditioner on, or what have you, we might not necessarily hear that emergency sirens or see those flashing lights,” he said.

Roberts said first responders are more likely to get into a crash on the way to a scene. He hopes drivers remember a simple tip.

“Pull over to the right. Let that emergency traffic go by so that we can keep the community safe and you can help keep us safe,” he said.


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.

Listen to the interview between E.S.C.A.P.E.‘s founder Firefighter Michael McLeieer and Morning Show host Ken Lanphear on WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 at 7:50 am on December 21, 2020.

  • 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.



Interview with E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. president Lt. Michael McLeieer Monday September 29, 2020 at 8:50 a.m. on WKZO AM 590 or FM 106.9.

As the temperatures cool down outside, you may want to start a fire in the fireplace or turn on the furnace to stay warm, but is your chimney ready to handle the heat?

National Chimney Safety Week 2020 is September 27 – October 3 and is designed to educate homeowners on the inherent dangers of fireplaces and provide them with tips to reduce their risk of suffering a chimney fire or carbon monoxide-related health emergency.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC), an average of 17,600 chimney fires occurred annually in the United States between 2015 and 2017, and although this represents a significant drop from previous years, the Chimney Safety Institute of America believes there’s still much room for improvement. CSIA’s vision is that every family enjoys a safe, warm home.

The Facts About Chimney Fires


Your chimney–and the flue that lines it–adds architectural interest to your home, but its’ real function is to carry dangerous flue gases from your fireplace, wood stove or furnace safely out of your home.    As you relax in front of your fireplace or bask in the warmth of your wood stove, the last thing you are likely to be thinking about is the condition of your chimney.  However, if you don’t give some thought to it before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be very short-lived.


Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage structures, destroy homes and injure or kill people. ​   Indications of a chimney fire have been described as creating: loud cracking and popping noise a lot of dense smoke, and an intense, hot smell ​Chimney fires can burn explosively – noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or people passing by.  Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney.  Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane.  However, those are only the chimney fires you know about.

Chimney fires are preventable.  When burning wood, only use dry, seasoned wood.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends chimneys be inspected annually and cleaned as-needed.  Having your chimney inspected by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep before lighting your first fire of the season, is the number one way to prevent potential damage to your home or even the loss of life that may result from a damaged or blocked chimney.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you with more than 1,800 CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps located across the United States, it has never been easier to find one near you.  To locate your nearest CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, visit www.csia.org/search and enter your zip code into the locator search tool.

07-05-2020 Hagar YFS images

During the COVID-19 pandemic and Stay at Home order, fire departments and fire safety experts across Michigan and throughout the country have reported an increase in firesetting and a heightened interest in fire by youth and adolescents.

Nationwide, more than half of all intentionally set fires are started by youths under the age of 18. According to the United States Fire Administration, each year in this country fires set by children and adolescents are responsible for hundreds of fire deaths, thousands of painful burn injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property loss. Young children are also the victims in these fires.

“Fires set by children are common and a problem affecting many families, said Firefighter Michael McLeieer, a leading fire safety expert and President of the non-profit organization E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. “While curiosity about fire is natural, firesetting is dangerous and deadly. It is not safe to think that youth firesetting is only a phase,” according to McLeieer.

Why Children and Adolescents Set Fires

Most experts agree that the best way to understand why fires are set is to look at the motivations for firesetting. Motives can involve curiosity, experimentation, a cry for help, thrill-seeking, willful intent to cause destruction, or from mental or emotional disorders.

Four Factors Influencing Firesetting

  • Easy access to lighters and matches— In many homes where a child or adolescent was involved in starting a fire, they easily discovered the matches or lighter or knew exactly where to find them. If you smoke, always keep your matches or lighter in your pocket or in other secure locations. Inform your child that you will be randomly checking his/her pockets, backpacks, and rooms for matches and lighters.07-05-2020 youth_firesetting_bg.1800x1200
  • Lack of supervision—Providing supervision is important. Parents are often shocked to learn their child was engaged in firesetting over a prolonged period of time.
  • Failure to practice fire safety—Young children, teens, and parents often lack understanding of the dangers associated with firesetting and safety rules about fire. Have clear rules rather than relying on vague threats or warnings.
  • Easy access to information on Internet—Technology has made explicit media available to youths about many dangerous and often illegal activities for them to replicate.

What To Do If You Suspect A Child Of Setting Fires

If you know of a child who is displaying firesetting behavior, the child and family are at a higher risk for suffering the consequences of fire. Remind the parent that they are not the only person to ever to face this problem. Have the parent or caregiver contact their local fire department immediately. Explain the situation to them. Many fire departments offer youth firesetting prevention and intervention programs.  Those departments that don’t offer comprehensive intervention may be able to refer the parent / caregiver to another agency that does offer these services.

Youth Firesetting Program Benefits Include:

  • A contact person in your area.
  • Determination of potential level of risk for repeat firesetting incidents.
  • Fire education for the youth and their family.
  • Referrals for additional services.

What Parents and Caregivers Can Do To Reduce Firesetting

  • Supervision by adults decreases the opportunity for youth to set fires.
  • Teach children of all ages that fires, even small ones, can spread quickly.
  • Teach young children that fire is a tool, not a toy, and only used by adults.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach of children.
  • Always use fire with care and set a good example by using matches, lighters, and candles carefully.
  • Never use threats or scare tactics when talking to the child.
  • Teach children to show you when they find matches and lighters.
  • Teach older children proper techniques for using fire.
  • Point out to your children the fire safety rules you and others follow throughout the day.
  • Talk to your children about the legal consequences of firesetting.
  • Be sensitive to what the child may be feeling while addressing their firesetting behavior.
  • Provide love, comfort and compassion when talking to the child.07-05-2020 Mom&Girl

What Families Can Do To Prevent Fires

  • Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards.
  • Install and maintain working smoke alarms throughout your home.’
  • Plan and practice home fire escape drills that include two ways out from every room.
  • Install residential sprinklers in your home.

What Communities Can Do

  • Prevent firesetting in the first place by providing fire safety education from preschool through high school.
  • Raise awareness in your community about youth firesetting.
  • Form partnerships between local fire departments and private sector organizations to help support firesetting prevention and intervention programs.’
  • Support community-based programs to provide services such as fire safety education and counseling using community resources.
  • Educate parents/caregivers and all who work with children about where they can go for help about firesetting.

For Further Information:

Contact your local fire department or visit www.usfa.fema.gov or www.escapeinc.org

Here is the article link on WLNS.com


Posted: Updated:


(WLNS)– With many 4th of July events canceled in Mid-Michigan amid COVID-19 concerns, officials expect more people will light off their own fireworks.

Meggan Andrews, a Store Manager at Phantom Fireworks in Lansing said they’re already seeing huge increases in sales.

“There’s been more people than what we expected, especially just opening up for one week,” Andrews said.

She added that on their opening day, they sold more than $1,000 worth of fireworks. Andrews said a lot of customers have come in, trying to find alternative plans for the holiday.

“A lot of them have said oh my hometown’s not doing fireworks. For hundreds of years, they had been doing fireworks and now they’re canceled, so now they want to do their own and do it for the community,” Andrews said.

“This year especially with the public displays being canceled, with people being at home with COVID-19, there’s a different sense of urgency in people’s minds… not necessarily that it’s a safe urgency, but they want to get out, they want to spend time with family and friends and we understand that, but safety needs to be at the paramount,” Lt. Michael McLeieer, Past President of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association said.

McLeieer said two out of every five structure fires on the 4th of July or around the holiday are caused by fireworks.

In addition, the latest national data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), shows U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries in 2017. More than a third of those injuries were children under the age of 15.

That’s why McLeieer said if people do choose to light off fireworks, they should always supervise small children, keep pets inside, and have a metal bucket with water nearby. He added it’s not just the big fireworks you should be careful with.

“There are no truly safe fireworks. Handheld sparklers can burn at least to 1200 sometimes as much as 2000 degrees and they can cause 3rd-degree burns within a matter of 2-3 seconds,” McLeieer said.

He added that Michigan’s fireworks laws have been changed, but local ordinances have a lot more jurisdiction and authority.

“Know when you can use fireworks, know when they’re not allowed,” McLeieer advised.



It’s Fire Prevention Week!  Now is the time to PLAN and PRACTICE your ESCAPE from a building fire!

Listen to the interview from October 8th on AM 590 WKZO and FM 106.9

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.


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.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

A lighter in the hand

Arson awareness is essential to keeping our communities vibrant and safe.  Arson Awareness Week is May 5-11, 2019 and this year’s theme is “Preventing Arson at Construction Sites”.

Here is the Arson Awareness Week interview from May 6th on WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 between Morning Show Host Ken Lanphear and E.S.C.A.P.E. President and Founder Lt. Michael McLeieer.

Arson affects both residential and commercial structures that are being built.  The fire damage is not only to the structure but also to all of those involved (emergency responders, property owners, and the community).

Although intentional fires are not the largest factor in reported construction site fires, they create a significant negative impact on the local community which not only includes those who live in the area, but also those involved with the project itself because they all become a community member during the time when these large projects are being constructed.

According to the United States Fire Administration, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average 3,750 fires in structures under construction each year, 2,560 fires in structures undergoing major renovation, and another 2,130 in structures being demolished.  Fires in these types of structures place members of the fire service in a position of unknowns and uncertain instability and vulnerability.

Fires in structures under construction, on average, were associated with 5 civilian deaths, 51 civilian injuries, and $172 million in direct property damage per year.

Buildings under construction or renovation are at their most vulnerable and weakest condition.  Accumulation of waste, ordinary combustibles, limited access, minimal water supplies and hazardous operations increase the challenge.  Add to this the effects of firefighting operations, increased water weight, weakened metal and support structures, hidden hot spots, and you have a formula for disaster waiting to happen.

Impact on the Community:

Fear in the community – if one building burns down and it was caused by arson will another building be the next target?

  • Potential exposure issues – are adjacent structures next to the construction site at risk for catching fire?
  • Vagrants / juveniles – may have access to construction sites and start a fire because they are bored or out of revenge.
  • Property value – is diminished when arson is a problem in the area.

 Common Causes:

  • Cooking – appliances left on, oils reaching ignition temperature, or combustibles nearby (workers cooking on site during lunch)
  • Heating – Propane/gas/kerosene heaters used inside or on the job site.
  • Work Equipment – Torches, grinders, or cutters causing sparks.
  • Smoking – Cigarette embers and nearby thermally thin combustibles.  The National Fire Protection Association estimates at least 5% of construction site fires are caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials.
  • Incendiary Motives – Profit, revenge, vandalism or shelter for warmth.

 Awareness is key.  Everyone can help to prevent arson at construction sites.


  • Store solvents, fuels and tools in a locked storage container or remove them from the job site when you are not using them.
  • Request additional patrols or drive-bys from your local law enforcement.
  • Remove trash and debris from the job site.
  • Try not to store excess materials on the job site.
  • Secure doors and windows on structures when crews are not actively working on the property.


  • Awareness is essential. Become familiar with activities in your neighborhood.
  • Report odd or suspicious activities to your local law enforcement.

For more information: The National Association of State Fire Marshals offers free construction fire safety online training courses:

  • Building Inspector Fire Safety Course.
  • Overview for Safety Managers and Owners.
  • Construction Workers Fire Safety Course.

Visit www.constructionfiresafety.training/ to enroll.

For more information on Arson Awareness Week 2019 visit www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw.  Fire Is Everyone’s Fight ®



LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In 2016 alone, the use of fireworks caused more than 11,000 injuries in the United States, with 35 percent of those injured under the age of 15. That’s according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

With fireworks season in full swing, experts want to make sure you’re being safe before you open a pack of fireworks.

“It’s very important that caregivers and other trusted adults are supervising young children to make sure that they’re not in the middle of something that could go wrong,” said Lieutenant Michael McLeieer of the Olivet Fire Department.

McLeieer says there are some important tips to keep in mind this summer while lighting off fireworks.

Some of them include staying away from buildings, keeping your pets inside, and most importantly, if you’re not sure what you’re doing, just leave it to the professionals and go to a public show.

“Two hundred people per day around the fireworks time, around the independence day holiday, end up in the hospital throughout the United States, so fireworks can be very dangerous,” said McLeieer.

Mark Garrity is the Store Manager at Phantom Fireworks in Lansing. He says fireworks can be dangerous in any situation, even if a person isn’t lighting them off. For example, he says a firework case tipped over on accident at work and blew up right next to him.

“It was a scary experience,” said Garrity. “I mean if you’re not safe with these fireworks you can do some really big bodily harm.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, firecrackers top the list of causing the most injuries at 20 percent. Sparklers follow behind at 19 percent.

Garrity says even though sparklers are popular among kids, adults should still be the ones to light them.

“I’ve seen these fireworks do some harm to people and I just don’t want to hear about it somewhere else that somebody got hurt because they were using fireworks inappropriately,” said Garrity.

If you’d like more information on how to stay safe during this fireworks season, we’ve put some helpful links for you under Seen on 6.

Officials say it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Ask any teacher and they’ll tell you that the lessons can be taught but the real magic is when the student shows that the lesson was learned.

And in the Eaton County community of Olivet that lesson could have been a lifesaver.

You might remember Jake the Fire Safety Dog.


He’s an important part of the 6 News “Safety for You” effort in mid Michigan.

Every year Jake visits dozens of classrooms to demonstrate the importance of having a fire escape plan and how to crawl to safety during a fire.

Last week fire hit an Olivet garage and forced a family from their home at 2 a.m.

When firefighters arrived they found the family gathered together in a safe place while the fire was put out.

Afterwards, while talking with Fire Chief John Collins, the family was explaining what happened and what they did during the fire.

That’s when their 5-year-old daughter piped up and proudly said that they had a safe meeting place because Jake the Fire Dog taught them about it when he visited a preschool class.

No one was injured and this is the 50th documented time a family was “saved” by a child who saw a Jake the Fire Dog or other E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety presentation.

ONLINE: Jake the Fire Safety Dog