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 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.
- 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.
- 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.