Firefighter Michael McLeieer, founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. spoke with Ken Lanphear on the Morning Show on WKZO about fire safety during the holiday season.  Our condolences go out to the family involved in the tragic fire in White Pigeon on December 4th as well as our friends from the White Pigeon Fire Department and the community!


Read More

Score more points this year by putting kitchen fire safety in your line up

Whether you cheer for the Patriots or the Eagles or maybe just watch for the half time show and commercials, the Super Bowl has become an American holiday. Share the information below to keep your communities safe.

Super Bowl Sunday is the USA’s second biggest day for food consumption. That means a lot of time spent planning and preparing game day snacks. Before you kick off your menu, take a look at these tips for safer cooking.


Kitchen Huddle

Prepare your cooking area. Use back burners or turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Keep a timer handy and use it when you’re roasting or baking.


Penalty Flag

Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. Keep an eye on what you fry. Start with a small amount of oil and heat it slowly. If you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.



Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet nearby in case you need to smother a pan fire.


Illegal Contact

Prevent burns when you’re cooking. Wear short sleeves, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot or steaming cookware.


Defensive Linemen

Children need constant adult supervision. If you have young children in the home, keep them three feet from anything that can get hot, including the stove. Put hot objects and liquids beyond a child’s reach so they can’t touch or pull them down. Never hold a child when you cook.



Keep safety in mind when serving on game day too.  If you burn candles, position them out of reach of children and away from anything that can burn. Consider using flameless candles that are lit by battery power instead. Food warmers and slow cookers get hot. Place them toward the back of the serving table so they won’t get knocked off. Provide hot pads to prevent burns. Light the chafing dish fuel can after it is placed under the warmer. Make sure nothing comes in contact with the flame. If young children are in your home, supervise them and keep matches and lighters locked away.


For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, visit USFA online at Follow USFA on Twitter at @USfire and on Facebook at


Members from the Saugatuck Township Fire District​ and Graafschap Fire Department​ spent their Saturday morning (December 17, 2016) installing FREE smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at Johnson Village as part of their Community Risk Reduction program.

If you live in the Saugatuck Township Fire District you can request a free alarm evaluation and installation through the web site at or by calling 269-857-3000.

Both the Saugatuck Township Fire District and Graafschap Fire Department are part of the WOTV Operation Save A Life program serving 14 counties throughout West Michigan.  If you live outside of the STFD or GFD areas and are in need of a new smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, please call toll free 1-844-978-4400 or email


WKZO- new logo jpg 1freq

E.S.C.A.P.E.‘s President and Founder Firefighter Michael McLeieer talks with Jim McKinney on Kalamazoo’s Morning News on WKZO AM 590 about this weekend’s time change.  When we “fall back” 1 hour this weekend with our clocks, we should also replace the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to keep everyone safe!



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 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!



October is the month when fire departments across the country promote fire prevention and safety in the local community. This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date!  Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.”  From fire department Open Houses to events with a focus on fire prevention education, there are 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 or call toll free 1-844-978-4400.

(Please note: event dates and times may be subject to change. Please check with your local fire department for more details).


Allegan County

Allegan Fire District’s First Annual Meet and Treat
Allegan Fire District Station #1
300 Monroe Street
Allegan, MI 49010
(269) 673-4459
Monday October 31, 2016
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

  • This event will be held in conjunction with the city-wide trick or treat activities. The fire department will also host a candy check


Dorr Township Fire Department
Fire Prevention Weekend Pancake Breakfast
4196 18th Street
Dorr, MI 49323
Saturday October 15, 2016
8:00 am – Noon

  • Besides the pancake breakfast, the fire department will be holding basket raffles for men, women, kids and couples as well as kids games and face painting. Donations are welcome for the breakfast and to support the fire department.


Leighton Township Fire Department
Public Safety Event
(At the Moline Ballfields): 1148 – 144th Avenue
Wayland, MI 49348
Saturday October 8, 2016
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

  • We will have fire equipment from the Leighton Township Fire Department and the Dorr Fire Department
  • A vehicle extrication demonstration
  • Michigan State Police Dive Team
  • Michigan State Police K9 Unit
  • Township Sheriff’s Deputies
  • Allegan County SWAT Team
  • The Allegan Central Dispatch will have information on the County 911 system
  • The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department will have some child car seat information and other public safety activities and information.
  • We will also have a bounce house and other activities for the kids.


Saugatuck Township Fire District
Fire Prevention Open House
3342 Blue Star Highway
Saugatuck, MI 49453
Sunday October 2, 2016
Noon – 3pm

  • Bring your family and friends to meet your firefighters and first responders.
  • There will be fire prevention games
  • A vehicle extrication demonstration
  • A live burn sprinkler demonstration
  • Electronics recycling (no tube TV’s).


Wayland Fire Department
Fire Prevention / Safety Open House
160 West Superior Street
Wayland, MI 49348
Saturday October 8, 2016
2pm – 4pm
Any questions feel free to call 269.792.6300

  • The Wayland Fire Department will be having fire apparatus on display allowing the children to touch a truck.
  • Firefighters will be talking about fire safety and prevention, distributing fire safety literature and have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms available.
  • Free refreshments including cookies will be available


Calhoun County

Battle Creek Fire Department – Fire Prevention Week Open House
Fire Station #2
145 North Washington Street
Battle Creek, MI 49037
Saturday October 15, 2016
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

  • Grilled hot dogs, chips and drinks (while supplies last)
  • Station tours, games and raffle drawings
  • Grand prize drawing of a free ride on a Battle Creek fire apparatus to or from school.  (Winner of the grand prize must reside within the Battle Creek City limits.  Awarded prize winners for drawings must be 12 years old or younger.  All (child) winners of the drawings must be present to claim their prize winnings.  Winner of the Grand Prize Fire Apparatus School Ride must be accompanied by a parent/adult and present the BIG WINNING FIRE TRUCK TICKET at the time of pick up for their ride)
  • Demonstrations:  Firefighters will be demonstrating how to put on turnout gear and Stop, Drop and Roll demonstrations
  • There will be a display of fire apparatus and equipment use and fire safety discussions


Eaton County

Olivet Fire Department
Halloween Open House
117 East Street
Olivet, MI 49076
Monday October 31, 2016
6pm – 8pm

  • Free cider and donuts
  • Meet your Olivet Firefighters and tour the fire trucks
  • Meet Firepup
  • Learn how to schedule your free smoke alarm installation in the Olivet Fire response area through WOTV’s Operation Save A Life program.


Kalamazoo County

13th Annual Family Fire Safety Day
Lowe’s of Portage
Portage Department of Public Safety – Fire Division
E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety / WOOD TV 8 – WOTV 4
5108 South Westnedge Avenue
Portage, MI 49002
Saturday October 22, 2016
10am – 2pm

  • Meet Jake the Fire Safety Dog.
  • Free 9-volt batteries and smoke alarms will be available (while supplies last).
  • The E.S.C.A.P.E. Smoke Demonstration trailer will teach families how to be safe from fire.
  • Tour the Portage Public Safety Fire Engine
  • Tour the Life EMS Ambulance
  • Learn about smoke alarms from Safe Kids of Kalamazoo County.
  • Free games and prizes provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Post Community Credit Union for those who know the correct answers to the safety questions presented throughout the day.


Kent County

Cannon Township Fire Department
Cannon Township Charity Breakfast
Donald E. Goodell Fire Station #2
6878 Belding Road
Rockford, MI 49341
Saturday October 1, 2016
8:00 am – 10:30 am

  • We are hosting a pancake breakfast at our Station #2
  • Donations will be accepted with all the proceeds going toward the Great Lakes Burn Camp which helps children who have been victimized by fire
  • This event is sponsored by Huntington Bank.


Dutton Fire Department
South Kent Community Expo
East Kentwood High School
6230 Kalamazoo Avenue
Kentwood, MI 49508
Saturday October 1, 2016
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

  • The event consists of approximately 90 vendors, restaurant taste test and multiple community agencies including the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, possibly the Kentwood Police Department, Life EMS, Kentwood Fire Department, Dutton Fire Department, Cutlerville Fire Department and others
  • We will be conducting at least 2 extrication demonstrations and several fire extinguisher demos as well
  • There will also be many trucks on display


Dutton Fire Department
Operation Save A Life Smoke Alarm Installation
Dutton Village Mobile Home Park
6720 West Mill Run
Dutton, MI 49316
Saturday October 22, 2016
All Day

  • In conjunction with the American Red Cross the Dutton Fire Department will be installing smoke alarms in the mobile home park
  • The Red Cross will canvas the 330 mobile home neighborhood the week before
  • Those who wish to have smoke alarms installed will be placed on a list
  • Members of the Red Cross, several volunteers as well as Dutton Firefighters will install the alarms on the 22nd
  • Other home owners in the township area can also get smoke alarms installed on the 22nd by contacting the Red Cross at 616-456-8661


Grandville Fire Department
Fire Department Open House
3215 Wilson Avenue
Grandville, MI 49418
Tuesday October 11, 2016
6pm – 8pm

  • Meet the firefighters and try on their gear
  • Meet the Crash Test Dummies and enjoy some popcorn, cookies and juice
  • Check out the inside of a fire truck, police car and an ambulance
  • Meet Sparky® The Fire Dog and take pictures with him
  • Best of all, learn about fire safety


Sparta Fire Department
Halloween Carnival
36 Elmwood Street
Sparta, MI 49345
Saturday October 29, 2016
11:00 am – 2:00 pm

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Tricks & Treats
  • Lots of Fun!!
  • And don’t forget – wear your costumes!
  • Costume contest at 12:00 pm
  • Rain or shine – this is an indoor event


Walker Fire Department
Fire Prevention Open House
Walker Fire Station #2 – 4101 Lake Michigan Drive, NW
Walker, MI 49534
Monday October 10, 2016
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

  • Meet the firefighters
  • Check out the fire trucks and learn about fire safety
  • Focusing on the 2016 Fire Prevention Week theme:  “Don’t Wait – Check the Date!  Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.”


Walker Fire Department
Halloween Open House
Walker Fire Station #2 – 4101 Lake Michigan Drive, NW
Walker, MI 49534
Monday October 31, 2016
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

  • Free coffee, cider and donuts (while supplies last)
  • Take a break from trick or treating.  Meet friends and learn some fire safety!


Muskegon County

Egelston Fire Department Open House
Egelston Township Fire Department
5380 East Apple Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49442
Tuesday October 11, 2016
6pm – 8pm

  • Parade will begin at 5:30pm with a route of Wolf Lake Road, north to Washington Street, west to Park Street, south to Hall Road, west to Brooks Road, south to Laketon Avenue, east to Carr Road, north to Apple Avenue and east to the fire station
  • There will be activities and demonstrations for the adults and kids, including a bounce house, kids fire spray house and fire extinguisher demonstrations
  • Operation Save A Life smoke alarm registrations
  • Demonstrations from the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department
  • And many more activities
  • Please come out and meet your firefighters and enjoy the festivities with your family


Muskegon Township / North Muskegon Fire Departments
Fire Prevention Open House
North Muskegon Fire Department
1102 Ruddiman Drive
North Muskegon, MI 49445
Thursday September 22, 2016
6pm – 8pm

  • There will be a static display of fire department equipment
  • Attendees will be able to spray a model house with water
  • Other activities include:  Smoke/safety trailer, burn cells-showing the operation of smoke alarms and a sprinkled building vs. an un-sprinkled building
  • Sign up for a free smoke alarm installation
  • Fire prevention materials will be distributed
  • Meet the Muskegon County Hazmat team
  • See the vehicle extrication demonstration
  • Visit the Pro Med Ambulance and Smokey Bear from the Michigan DNR
  • Free hot dog dinner sponsored by G&L (while supplies last) and much more


Muskegon City Fire Department
Fire Department Fire Prevention Open House
770 Terrace
Muskegon, MI 49440
Sunday October 9, 2016
2pm – 4pm

  • Free food (while supplies last)
  • Static displays, fire safety education, equipment and station tours


Norton Shores Fire Department
Fire Prevention and Public Safety Open House
1100 East Pontaluna Road
Norton Shores, MI 49444
Saturday September 24, 2016
10am – 3pm

  • Featured appearances and activities include: The E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety smoke demonstration trailer and Jake the Fire Safety Dog
  • Michigan State Police will bring their arson dog and their new Drone
  • Fire extinguisher training
  • Kids activities
  • Fire truck rides
  • Drawings and prizes to win a boy’s and girl’s bicycle


Ottawa County

Crockery Township Fire Department
Fire Prevention Open House
16875 Main Street
Nunica, MI 49448
Monday October 10, 2016
7:00 pm



When was the last time you tested your smoke alarm? Michigan leads the country in home fire deaths. Many of them occurred in homes that did not have working smoke alarms.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you that a properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.

Take the opportunity when you “spring ahead” on Sunday, March 13 to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, replace the batteries and replace alarms that are more than ten years old.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.  A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market, but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

It cannot be stated definitively that one is better than the other in every fire situation that could arise in a residence.  Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different, yet potentially fatal fires, and because no one can predict what type of fire might start in a home, the United States Fire Administration recommends that every residence and place where people sleep be equipped with:

  • Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms, OR
  • dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors

In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities.  These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

Smoke alarms are powered by battery or they are hardwired into the home’s electrical system. If the smoke alarm is powered by battery, it runs on either a disposable 9-volt battery or a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long-life”) battery.  A backup battery is usually present on hardwired alarms and may need to be replaced.

These batteries must be tested on a regular basis and, in most cases, should be replaced at least once each year (except for lithium batteries).

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.  Many fatal fires begin late at night or early in the morning, so the U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.

Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible.  Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Smoke alarms are not expensive and are worth the lives they can help save. Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms cost between $6 and $20.  Dual sensor smoke alarms cost between $24 and $40.

Some fire departments offer reduced price, or even free, smoke alarms and may install battery operated smoke alarms in your home at no cost.  Contact your local fire department’s non-emergency phone number for more information.

If you need a free smoke alarm, you may also contact WOTV’s Operation Save A Life program by e-mail at or call toll free 1-844-978-4400.


1 2 3 5