Did you know three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms?  More than one-third (37%) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.  The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Michigan Civilian Fire Fatalities (from the United States Fire Administration)

  • Currently, Michigan ranks #2 in the country for civilian fire fatalities
  • As of 12/31/2014, West Michigan accounted for 26% of the state’s civilian fire fatalities
  • Fire fatalities are affecting older adults (those over 65 years) and younger children (those under 14) at a faster rate compared to any other age group.
  • Since 2012, Michigan fire fatality numbers have been the worst, not seen since 1999.

Operation Save a Life

Kidde and WOTV 4 Women are proud to partner together on Operation Save A Life — a public service campaign designed to educate consumers and raise awareness about the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Since 2002, Kidde has donated more than 1 million smoke alarms to participating fire departments for installation in area homes as part of this program.

In addition, each area specific ABC-affiliate creates safety vignettes that air during the campaign. Our hope is that these educational messages combined with Kidde product donations and informative product displays in retail stores across the country will help save lives.

Kidde donated 2,500 smoke alarms and 500 carbon monoxide alarms for installation by fire departments and other trained professionals in select homes throughout West Michigan.  Each type of alarm contain a 10-year sealed battery for worry-free protection.

You can follow the Operation Save A Life conversation via #OpSaveALife and by liking Kidde’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Learn more: http://www.kidde.com/IntheCommunity/Pages/OperationSaveALife.aspx


Kidde is a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and fire extinguishers. It has been delivering advanced fire-safety technology since producing the first integrated smoke detection and carbon dioxide extinguishing system in 1917. Kidde is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.kidde.com/ or follow @KiddeSafety on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KiddeSafety).

For more information on Operation Save A Life or to find out how to get a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector installed into your West Michigan home contact us:

Email:  escape@wotv4women.com



More than 150 people in the U.S. die every year from accidental non fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning.

Like fire, carbon monoxide (CO) is just as deadly. It’s called the silent killer because it’s colorless, odorless and invisible. More than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental non fire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. When you breathe in CO, it makes you feel nauseous, dizzy, head-achy, and tired like you have the flu. It also makes it difficult to think clearly. CO poisons the body by removing oxygen in the blood stream, slowing suffocating you and eventually causing unconsciousness and even death.

Winter snows can create drifts that block exhaust vents, forcing CO to back-up into your home. High efficiency appliances and those with power-vent blowers by definition waste less heat, so the exhaust air temperature is very low. Often it is too low to melt snow or ice in a plugged exhaust pipe or vent. Keep sidewall and direct vents clear of obstructions, drifting snow and bushes to provide proper ventilation.

Where does CO come from?

Heating equipment is the leading cause of CO incidents. It can also come from hot water heaters, gas stoves, gas dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, and from cars, lawn mowers, snow blowers or generators running inside the garage – even with the door open. A large number of CO incidents take place between the months of November and February and between 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. This is the time when most heating equipment is being used at home.

Facts & figures

  • The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim’s health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body’s ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.
  • A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
  • In 2010, S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of nine such calls per hour. The number of incidents increased 96 percent from 40,900 incidents reported in 2003. This increase is most likely due to the increased use of CO detectors, which alert people to the presence of CO.

What to do if you suspect CO exposure

  • Get out of the house or car and get fresh air.
  • Call the fire department or 911 from a neighbor’s house.
  • If you have symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

For more information on carbon monoxide safety, please visit the National Fire Protection Association or the United States Fire Administration websites.

>>> More from E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety



Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

One of the primary concerns is the winter weather’s ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize both the local neighborhood and an entire region.

The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before, during and after it strikes.



Prevent Fires from Alternative Lighting, Heating and Cooking
Should families experience a power outage during or after the winter storm, a safer alternative is to use battery operated flashlights or lanterns instead of candles or other open flame. Never use a stove or oven as a heating source and never overload a fireplace, wood or pellet stove. Finally, always properly dispose of ashes in a metal container with a lid, outside away from the house, garage or deck. A single ash can retain heat for several days.



Portable Generator Safety during a Power Outage 

  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions before running a generator.
  • Engines emit carbon monoxide. Never use a portable generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, basement or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, that neither a fan nor open doors and windows will provide enough fresh air.
  • Only use your generator outdoors, away from windows, vents or doors.
  • Test battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home at least monthly.
  • Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Turn off the portable generator and allow it to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline.
  • Store gasoline in an approved container, in a shed or detached garage away from the home. Never store gasoline in the home or an attached garage.
  • Never operate a portable generator near combustible materials.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy-duty, outdoor rated extension cord. Always uncoil extension cords and lay them flat in open locations since coiled cords get extremely hot and could cause a fire.
  • Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet to avoid “backfeeding” which can electrocute utility workers. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified, licensed electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.
  • Generators produce powerful voltage. Never operate under wet conditions and take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow.



During and After the Storm
Clear snow from furnace, dryer vents, and hydrants. Keep outside furnace, hot water and dryer vents clear of drifting snow to prevent flue gases from backing up into the home and creating a carbon monoxide hazard.  Assist firefighters by clearing a three-foot radius around fire hydrants near your home.










Prevent Freezing Pipes
Let hot and cold water faucets drip a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing, and open cupboards under sinks to let heat circulate around the pipes.



Use Caution in Cold Temps
Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the tasks. Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.



Be a Good Neighbor
Check on elderly neighbors, people living alone, those with disabilities and homes with young children to see if they need extra supplies before or assistance after the storm.



For winter weather updates, visit Storm Team 8 online.

For additional Winter Storm Safety Tips, watch this Winter Safety Tips video from FEMA or go to Ready.gov.