flameless_candle_4

The most wonderful time of the year is also the most likely time of the year for home fires. Home fires during the holiday season often involve space heaters, candles, holiday decorations and Christmas trees. By taking some preventative steps, using common sense, and following some simple rules, most home fires can be prevented during the H.O.L.I.D.A.Y. season and beyond.

Listen to the interview between E.S.C.A.P.E.‘s founder Firefighter Michael McLeieer and Morning Show host Ken Lanphear on WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 at 7:50 am on December 21, 2020.

  • Have a home safety escape plan, practice two ways out of every room. One way out could be a door and the second way out could be a window.
  • Outside – Go outside to your family meeting place when the smoke alarm sounds and during fire or smoke conditions.
  • Lighters and matches are tools for adults not toys for kids. Make sure you secure them out of the reach of young and curious hands.
  • Inspect holiday lights and wiring for damage. Replace defective accessories.
  • Detectors – Both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors make great gifts.
  • Always turn off a space heater and holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • You can take charge of your holiday safety Where You Live!


safety-tips-winter-holiday-fires1.1200x600

‘Tis the season to water your Christmas tree daily to keep it from becoming dry. Also use care with candles and electric lights to keep this joyous time of year safe. More than 1 out of every 4 home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. A heat source too close to the tree causes 1 in every 4 of the fires.

 

  • Use flameless candles instead of real candles to prevent a home fire.
  • Create a 1-foot circle of safety (keeping anything that can burn away) if you decide to use real candles. Always blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Choose holiday decorations that are labeled flame retardant or not flammable.
  • Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources and room exits.
  • Place fireplace ashes in a metal container with a lid and place the container outside and away from buildings and other combustibles.

Remember as you deck the halls this season, be fire smart and don’t burn them down.

 



christmas_tree_fire

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 cooking, 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.

Cooking

  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries, with most cooking fires involving the stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food. Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop, and turn it off when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time.
  • If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.
  • If you have a cooking fire, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately after you leave.
  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and that you have access to an exit.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays; December is the peak month for home candle fires.

Candles

  • 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 12” 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.

Christmas Trees

      • 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.

Space Heaters

      • 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.  Remember to have fun as you Deck the Halls, but don’t burn them down!

KZO LOGO

 



MorningShowWithKenLanphearPodcast_gKGRqHE

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!

KZO LOGO

Read More


The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. Kids especially love to be involved in holiday preparations. However, safety in the kitchen is important, especially when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember to play it safe! E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety offers a few simple tips so you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop or cooking your turkey so you can keep an eye on the food and check on it frequently.
  • Keep kids away from the stove. Maintain a three-foot kid free zone away from things that are hot and can burn (the stove, oven, microwave, or food).
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles, or books can keep them busy. Kids can get involved in preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.
  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the oven or stovetop.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pets, pocketbooks, or bags.
  • Keep knives, utility lighters, and matches out of the reach of children. Place these tools up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a room with a lit candle. When you leave the room, extinguish the candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working and are located on every level of your home. Test them by pushing the test button, replace batteries annually and replace alarms every 10 years.
  • Never place smoke alarms in the kitchen or immediately outside the bathroom where cooking odors or steam from the shower can cause nuisance activations.
  • Keep exits clear and accessible. In case of a fire, everyone in the home needs immediate access to the closest exit leading outside.

If your family needs a new smoke alarm and you are unable to obtain one, contact your local fire department or e-mail escape@wotv4women.com to learn about the Operation Save A Life smoke alarm installation program close to Where You Live!

 



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

Kitchen

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

Bathroom

  • Keep medication out of reach of children

Pets

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







The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. Kids especially love to be involved in holiday preparations. However, safety in the kitchen is important, especially when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember to play it safe! E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety offers a few simple tips so you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop or cooking your turkey so you can keep an eye on the food and check on it frequently.
  • Keep kids away from the stove. Maintain a three-foot kid free zone away from things that are hot and can burn (the stove, oven, microwave, or food).
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles, or books can keep them busy. Kids can get involved in preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.
  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the oven or stovetop.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pets, pocketbooks, or bags.
  • Keep knives, utility lighters, and matches out of the reach of children. Place these tools up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a room with a lit candle. When you leave the room, extinguish the candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working and are located on every level of your home. Test them by pushing the test button, replace batteries annually and replace alarms every 10 years.
  • Never place smoke alarms in the kitchen or immediately outside the bathroom where cooking odors or steam from the shower can cause nuisance activations.
  • Keep exits clear and accessible. In case of a fire, everyone in the home needs immediate access to the closest exit leading outside.

If your family needs a new smoke alarm and you are unable to obtain one, contact your local fire department or e-mail escape@wotv4women.com to learn about the Operation Save A Life smoke alarm installation program close to Where You Live!