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Did you know the risk of dying in a home structure fire caused by smoking materials rises with age?  Listen to these tips on WKZO radio from our founder Lt. Michael McLeieer, President of E.S.C.A.P.E. on ways to properly extinguish smoking materials and prevent a home fire!



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



Having a campfire can be one of the greatest joys of summer. Whether roasting marshmallows, cooking a meal, or surrounded by family and friends, it’s important to understand how to stay safe around a campfire.

  • Select an appropriate location. Before creating a campfire, make sure you understand any rules or regulations for your area. Avoid building the fire near low-hanging branches, tree roots, structures, and other flammable items. Try to choose a location where your fire will be sheltered from the wind and use campfire rings or other designated campfire accessories whenever possible.
  • Use the appropriate campfire fuel. Soft woods like pine, fir, and cedar are best for starting a fire. Start the fire by building a small teepee of dry sticks and igniting it with a match. As the fire gets started, add larger pieces of wood. Remember to keep the fire small. Don’t burn items that may explode or give off toxic fumes. Items should never be thrown in a fire. That includes batteries, plastic bags, glass, and aluminum cans.
  • Supervise the campfire area continuously. A responsible adult should always be present while a campfire is burning. Encourage small children to stay seated several feet away from the fire. Extinguished campfire areas should still be monitored after the flames have gone out to make sure the campfire does not re-ignite and to make sure that children are not burned by embers, which still retain heat even after the fire is extinguished.
  • Completely extinguish the campfire. A roaring fire is both a success, and a responsibility. It is your job to properly maintain and extinguish your campfire when you are finished. Make sure you always have a large bucket of water and metal shovel on hand to put out the fire. Pour lots of water on the fire, drown all embers, not just the red ones, until the hissing sound stops. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel and pour more water on the ashes, then feel the area to make sure they are cold to the touch.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you that summer activities are more fun when you know that your kids are safe Where You Live!



The smell of a cake baking in the oven or a tasty soup simmering on the stovetop is difficult for both children and adults to resist.  However, each year over 486,000 individuals in the U.S. and Canada are seen in emergency departments, minor emergency clinics or physician’s offices for the treatment of a burn injury due to cooking, hot liquids, grease, food, tap water and steam.

Most scald burns occur in the home and are typically related to everyday activities such as cooking, eating and bathing.  They often occur to young children because of a lack of adult supervision and a failure to follow safe practices.

That’s why National Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February, is designed to teach kids how to be responsible for their personal safety and to increase family awareness of potentially harmful situations in homes throughout the community where you live.

“Children under the age of five are 2.4 times as likely as the general population to suffer burn injuries that require emergency medical treatment.” according to Firefighter Michael McLeieer of the non-profit fire safety charity E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc.  “Young children cannot understand  the potential dangers of things that can burn them.  Today, 96.8% of those who suffer burn injuries will survive.  Unfortunately, many of those survivors will sustain serious scarring, life-long physical disabilities, and adjustment difficulties,” said McLeieer.

Facts about burn related injuries:

  • The primary causes of burn injuries include fire-flame, scalds, electrical and chemicals.


  • Hot water scalds are the leading cause of burns to young children.


  • Men are more likely to be burned than women (68% males and 32% females were seen at a burn unit).


  • Most of the injuries occur in the home (73%) followed by work (8%).


  • Tragically, children, the elderly, and the disabled are especially vulnerable to burn injuries, and almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15.


  • Young adults ages 20-29 have a probability of a burn injury that is roughly 1.5 times the risk of the general population.

Prevent burns and scalds in the kitchen:

  • Place objects so that they cannot be pulled down or knocked over.
  • Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
  • Use dry oven mitts or potholders. Hot cookware can heat moisture in a potholder or hot pad, resulting in a scald burn.
  • Remove food that has been cooked in the microwave carefully.  Open containers slowly and away from the face.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove.
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.

General first aid for burns and scalds:

  • Treat a burn right away by putting it under cool, running water.  Cool the burn  for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  • Cover a burn with a clean, dry cloth.  Do not apply creams, ointments, sprays or other home remedies.
  • Remove all clothing, diapers, jewelry and metal from the burned area.  These can hide underlying burns and retain heat, which can increase skin damage.
  • Seek immediate emergency medical care for more serious burns to prevent infection, other complications and death.

National Burn Awareness Week is the perfect time to share this information, develop a fire escape plan, check your smoke alarms, and make your kitchen and entire home safe for those you care for Where You Live!

* Information provided by the American Burn Association, United States Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association.



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National Burn Awareness Week is February 5 – 11, 2017.  Please listen to some important burn prevention tips shared on WKZO AM 590 radio Monday morning February 6th at 9:10 a.m. by our founder Firefighter Michael McLeieer.


The holiday season can be one of the most dangerous season’s for fires. Michael McLeieer of E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety has some special holiday fire prevention and safety tips.

Christmas Tree

  • Check the wiring on your tree
  • Look for loose ornaments that could become choking hazards
  • Use outlet covers


  • Stand by your pan
  • Use back burners first
  • Create a three foot kid-free zone


  • Keep medication out of reach of children


  • Reintroduce pets to young children, especially if they’re not used to them


Sunday, November 6, is the time to move the clocks one hour back. It’s also a good time every year to change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries.

The National Fire Protection Association reports 71% of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries, making it important to take this time each year to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms double the chance of a family surviving a home fire and/or an unsafe carbon monoxide level.

Use this checklist to find out if you are taking the right steps to protect your family:

  1. Count Your Smoke Alarms – Be sure there is at least one smoke alarm less than 10 years old installed on every level of your home, including one in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  2. Change Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries – Fire experts nationwide encourage people to change their smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries at least once a year.  An easy way to remember to do so is to change the battery when you move the clock back to standard time November 1st.
  3. Check Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm – After inserting a fresh battery in each smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, push the safety test button to make sure the alarms are in proper-working condition.  Conduct this test monthly.  Never disconnect your smoke alarm battery!  Remember that a “chirping” alarm is a signal it needs a fresh battery.
  4. Clear Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms’ sensitivity by cleaning them each month of dust and cobwebs.
  5. Replace Your Smoke Alarms – The United States Fire Administration recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years and having a combination of both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to keep you alert to all types of home fires.
  6. Change Your Flashlight Batteries – Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire.
  7. Get the Whole Family Involved – Once smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have fresh batteries installed, you should make sure family members, children in particular, know what the alarms sound like and what to do should they go off…Get Out and Stay Out and then call 911 from a safe meeting place once outside!
  8. If you need a free smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarm, contact your local fire department, American Red Cross Chapter, email the Operation Save A Life program at escape@wotv4women.com or call toll free 1-844-978-4400.

Here is a complete list of West Michigan smoke alarm installation programs.

Sometimes saving a life can be that simple – Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® Where You Live!


This family event combines safety with a whole lot of fun! Join E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire SafetyWOOD TV8’s Chief Meteorologist Bill Steffen and Jake the Fire Safety Dog for the 13th Annual Family Fire Safety Day on October 22nd from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Free nine volt batteries and smoke alarms will be available (while supplies last) and you can visit with Portage firefighters and tour their fire truck. If you need a smoke alarm installed in your owner occupied home, call toll free 1-844-978-4400 or email escape@wotv4women.com.

Family Fire Safety Day
Saturday October 22nd – 10am – 2pm
Lowe’s in Portage – 5108 S. Westnedge Ave.