Space heaters are often viewed as a way to cut down on the heating bill and ad warmth to any room.

But some users of these heaters are oblivious to the dangers that may loom if they aren’t used properly.

E.S.C.A.P.E.‘s founder / president and former president of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association and 20 year fire safety veteran Michael McLeieer, tells WBKB 11 in Alpena why space heaters should be used sparingly.

“If space heaters are used as a primary heating source that puts our family at risk because those space heaters can overload, or if those space heaters are left on when we’re not at home, a fire could occur.”

Nearly two thirds of winter house fires are caused by heating homes improperly.

Here are McLeieer’s tips to ensure your space heater is not a fire safety hazard.

“Space heaters need space, they need at least three feet of space from anything that can catch fire, that could be clothing, that could be our furniture, and as we have now the winter weather before us, we want to make sure that people aren’t putting gloves or things like that to dry on the space heater because that’s a way that could catch those items on fire.”

Space heaters should never be left unattended under any circumstance.

Lowes w Post CU

Join the E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety Team and Jake the Fire Safety Dog this Saturday at Lowe’s in Portage for the 12th Annual Family Fire Safety Day from 10am – 2pm.  Listen to this morning’s interview with WKZO’s Jim McKinney and E.S.C.A.P.E.’s founder Firefighter Michael McLeieer.



October 4 through 10 is Fire Prevention Week. This year’s fire prevention theme is “Hear the BEEP where you SLEEP! Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm.” Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in home fires resulting in injury and death. This listing provides numerous opportunities for children and families to learn about fire safety, injury prevention, and smoke alarm maintenance close to Where You Live. If you have questions about fire prevention and safety or need a smoke alarm, e-mail

>>> List of fire department open houses

ESCAPE Inc. is celebrating 20 years in West Michigan! See the ESCAPE smoke demonstration trailer and Jake the Fire Safety Dog at Zoo Goes Boo at John Ball Zoo on Saturday, October 17. There will be experts to answer questions and free fire prevention materials between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Dozens of firefighters from West Michigan joined Daybreak on WOOD TV 8 on Friday for Fire Prevention Week.


Michigan ranks in the top five states in the U.S. for the most home fire deaths.

This year, home fire deaths in West Michigan are up 44-percent from 2014.

In an effort to prevent fire-related deaths, WOTV 4 Women, Kidde and E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety have partnered together to create Operation Save a Life.

>>LIST: Smoke alarm installation programs across West Michigan

The free program is designed to make sure people in need of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors not only get them, but also have them installed.


During Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 4-10, firefighters have been visiting schools and the community to stress the importance of fire safety plans and testing smoke alarms. Alarms more than 10 years old need to be replaced.


Marandas Park Parties traveled to five communities across West Michigan in 2015, including the July 30 event at Northwestern Middle School in Battle Creek. An estimated 6,100 kids and families turned out at the final Park Party of the summer, bringing this year’s total to an estimated 29,000 participants!

“It has been an amazing summer visiting so many wonderful communities across West Michigan and impacting the lives of so many families across our area. We couldn’t do it without the amazing support of our great sponsors from WOOD TV8 and WOTV 4 and from the communities we visited. A huge thanks to everyone who joined for Park Party season 2015,” Maranda said.

E.S.C.A.P.E. would like to thank our fabulous partners for their continued support of fire and life safety education and commitment to help us keep West Michigan families safe!

07-30-2015 BC Park Party

The Battle Creek Park Party is unique because Maranda partners with Battle Creek Public Schools to bring the community together. Each school in the district was represented in one super-sized area with games, giveaways, and to register children for kindergarten. The district also provided busing from area elementary schools and apartment complexes.


The final Maranda Park Party of the summer is coming to Northwestern Middle School in Battle Creek on July 30.

Maranda partners with Battle Creek Public Schools to bring the community together. Each school in the district is represented in one super-sized area with games, giveaways, and to register children for kindergarten. They also provide busing from area elementary schools and apartment complexes. See the schedule here.


The Battle Creek Police Department brings out a huge display to delight children at the Park Party! Visitors can see the bomb squad with a robot, the Emergency Response Team, and a K9. The Police Department loves the opportunity to get together with people in the community and have fun together.

07-09-2015 Marne Interns

The Battle Creek Park Party is extra special for E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety, as they celebrate their 20th anniversary. The organization started in Battle Creek, taking fire safety education into communities using a fire safety demonstration trailer. Last year, E.S.C.A.P.E. had the one millionth child go through the smoke demonstration trailer at the Park Party in Battle Creek. This year, they’re helping super-size the event with prizes and a Rescue Squad bounce house.

The Pearson Family will be at the Park Party once again, bringing their incredible sound to the Craig’s Cruisers Entertainment Stage. The family performs beautiful harmonies for the National Anthem and other songs.

The Maranda Park Party on July 30 is from noon until 2 p.m. Free lunch is served to anyone 18 and under starting at 11:30 a.m., while supplies last.