Here are the interviews E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc.’s president and founder Michael McLeieer did promoting National Burn Awareness Week 2022.

WXMI Fox 17 – 8:40 a.m. – 02/07/2022

WKZO AM 590 & FM 106.9 radio – 9:10 a.m. – 02/07/2022



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – More home fires occur during the winter months than in any other season with half of all home heating fires happening in December, January and February.

Michael McLeeier from E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety joined the eightWest team to talk about how we can stay safe this winter.

For more information and resources, visit EscapeInc.org.



As the temperatures drop, people tend to resort to using space heaters and other methods to heat their homes and businesses, but they need to play it safe and prevent a home fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. spoke with WLNS TV 6FOX 17 TV, WBKB TV and WKZO AM 590 and FM 106.9 radio this week and shared some simple but important tips and resources to prevent a home fire and increase your chances of surviving a fire should it occur.

WLNS TV 6:

FOX 17 TV:

WKZO Radio:

WBKB TV (Alpena, MI):

Here are a couple of links to some free resources and tips to prevent winter home fires from the National Fire Protection Association

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Put-A-Freeze-on-Winter-Fires

and United States Fire Administration

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/media/social_toolkits/toolkit_heating.html

 




10/04/2021 – WLNS 6 News – Sunday, October 3rd kicks off the start of Fire Prevention Week with experts focusing on reminding people to have working smoke alarms at home. A beeping smoke alarm in the middle of the night might be tempting to pull out the battery to make it stop. But Fire Inspector Michael Roberts with Delta Township Fire Department says don’t do it.

“It’s still very concerning how many times we have a smoke alarm issue or we have a fire and there are still not working smoke alarms in a home,” he said.

He said that people often just forget to install smoke alarms or replace the batteries. Roberts has some advice on where to place your smoke detector.

“…away from the wall, away from the exhaust fans, ductwork, ceiling fans. So that they can detect smoke the quickest, ” he said, “we personally like them up in the ceiling”.

Delta Township Fire Department recommends changing your smoke detector batteries every six months. A good rule of thumb is when you change your clocks during your daylight savings time you should also change the batteries on your smoke detectors.

But fire prevention week isn’t just a reminder to check your smoke detectors, it’s also about making sure you’re doing your part to keep firefighters safe.

“The number two cause of firefighter fatalities in the United States is vehicle accidents. And so we want to come out and make sure that everybody understands that what we do is dangerous, even when we are driving to emergencies, trying to get to people who are asking for our help,” Roberts said.

Fire safety expert Michael McLeieer says distractions like phones or loud music can keep drivers from noticing fire trucks on the road until it’s too late.

“Part of the problem today is that our vehicles today are much better insulated than what they ever used to be. And if we have a stereo on, we have the air conditioner on, or what have you, we might not necessarily hear that emergency sirens or see those flashing lights,” he said.

Roberts said first responders are more likely to get into a crash on the way to a scene. He hopes drivers remember a simple tip.

“Pull over to the right. Let that emergency traffic go by so that we can keep the community safe and you can help keep us safe,” he said.




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E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc., an award-winning fire safety organization is teaming up with AARP Michigan, WOTV 4 Women, the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®), First Alert®, the National Volunteer Fire Council and the Michigan fire service for Fire Prevention Week 2020.  This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!™  The campaign runs from October 4-10 and works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States.  Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen.  Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. “Cooking fires are preventable,” said Firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of the non-profit charity E.S.C.A.P.E.  “It’s important that people stay in the kitchen when they are cooking, use a timer as a reminder when the food is done and avoid distractions such as electronics or televisions.  These are some of the important steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes,” according to McLeieer.

A cooking fire can grow quickly.  Each year many homes are damaged and people are injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. and AARP Michigan offer this recipe for Fire-Safe Cooking.

  • Keep an eye on what you fry.  Never leave cooking food unattended.  Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling.  If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Stand by your pan.  If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • You have to be alert and awake when cooking.  Alcohol and some drugs can make you sleepy.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking.  If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flames.  Turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so no one can bump them or pull them over.
  • Have a “kid-free and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities Where You Live, please contact your local fire department.  For more information about cooking fire prevention, visit www.nfpa.org/fpw or www.escapeinc.org.

 

 



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September 2, 2020

E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc.(SM), an award-winning non-profit fire safety organization headquartered in Kalamazoo has formed an exclusive partnership with First Alert® with the goal of eliminating home fire deaths across Michigan through the new campaign called “Keeping Michigan S.A.F.E.” (Smoke Alarms For Everyone).

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First Alert is the most trusted and recognized fire safety brand in America.  For more than 60 years, First Alert has designed and developed innovative safety solutions including a comprehensive line of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders to protect what matters most.

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“For over a decade, Michigan continues to lead the country in civilian fire deaths.  This exclusive partnership will allow us to provide the resources and education that firefighters throughout Michigan are able to utilize in their local communities and reverse this deadly trend,” according to firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. and immediate past president of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association.

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We are proud to partner with these leading fire service organization as we work together “Keeping Michigan S.A.F.E.tm” – The Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs, Michigan Mutual Aid Box Alarm System and Michigan State Firemen’s Association.

We are excited to receive additional support for this project from the following partners:

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Photo courtesy of the West Bend (WI) Fire Department

Photo courtesy of the West Bend (WI) Fire Department

Using oxygen increases the risk of fire and burns.  When oxygen is used in the home, the amount of O2 in the air, furniture, clothing, and hair goes up, making it easier for a fire to start and spread.

The West Bend (WI) Fire Department responded to a residential fire alarm on Saturday July 25th.  The occupant had dropped a cigarette onto the oxygen tubing where it subsequently started on fire.

If you or a loved one uses home oxygen

  • Do not smoke
  • Make sure the home has working smoke alarms.  Test them monthly.
  • Have a home fire escape plan with a minimum of 2 ways out of every room and an outdoor meeting place.  Practice the plan at least twice a year.
  • Keep oxygen and tubing 10-feet away from heat sources such as candles, matches, lighters, heaters, wood stoves, electric razors, hair dryers, cooking stoves, and smoking materials.
  • Do not use petroleum-based products such as oil-based lip balms or lotions.  They catch fire easily.

Here is the entire post from the West Bend Fire Department’s Facebook page:

***Smoking while using oxygen is dangerous!***

#20-2216 07/25/2020 03:29

At 3:29 a.m. on Saturday, July 25th, 2020, the West Bend Fire Department was dispatched to a residential fire alarm in the City of West Bend. A West Bend Police Department officer, Engine 1, Truck 2, and Battalion 1 responded to a two family side by side residence. A family member of the occupant was outside speaking to the officer upon arrival of fire department units.

The occupant had dropped a cigarette onto the oxygen tubing where it subsequently started on fire. The occupant stomped out the fire with their feet. While there were burn marks on the socks, luckily the occupant did not suffer any burn injuries. The occupant refused medical attention on the scene.

Please do not utilize smoking materials while using oxygen. The end result of this incident could have been a disaster. UW Hospital Burn Center in Madison had two admissions for burn injuries in March and April of 2020 for people who were burned while smoking and using oxygen. These incidents really do happen, they really cause damage, and they really do cause harm.

 



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During the COVID-19 pandemic and Stay at Home order, fire departments and fire safety experts across Michigan and throughout the country have reported an increase in firesetting and a heightened interest in fire by youth and adolescents.

Nationwide, more than half of all intentionally set fires are started by youths under the age of 18. According to the United States Fire Administration, each year in this country fires set by children and adolescents are responsible for hundreds of fire deaths, thousands of painful burn injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars in property loss. Young children are also the victims in these fires.

“Fires set by children are common and a problem affecting many families, said Firefighter Michael McLeieer, a leading fire safety expert and President of the non-profit organization E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. “While curiosity about fire is natural, firesetting is dangerous and deadly. It is not safe to think that youth firesetting is only a phase,” according to McLeieer.

Why Children and Adolescents Set Fires

Most experts agree that the best way to understand why fires are set is to look at the motivations for firesetting. Motives can involve curiosity, experimentation, a cry for help, thrill-seeking, willful intent to cause destruction, or from mental or emotional disorders.

Four Factors Influencing Firesetting

  • Easy access to lighters and matches— In many homes where a child or adolescent was involved in starting a fire, they easily discovered the matches or lighter or knew exactly where to find them. If you smoke, always keep your matches or lighter in your pocket or in other secure locations. Inform your child that you will be randomly checking his/her pockets, backpacks, and rooms for matches and lighters.07-05-2020 youth_firesetting_bg.1800x1200
  • Lack of supervision—Providing supervision is important. Parents are often shocked to learn their child was engaged in firesetting over a prolonged period of time.
  • Failure to practice fire safety—Young children, teens, and parents often lack understanding of the dangers associated with firesetting and safety rules about fire. Have clear rules rather than relying on vague threats or warnings.
  • Easy access to information on Internet—Technology has made explicit media available to youths about many dangerous and often illegal activities for them to replicate.

What To Do If You Suspect A Child Of Setting Fires

If you know of a child who is displaying firesetting behavior, the child and family are at a higher risk for suffering the consequences of fire. Remind the parent that they are not the only person to ever to face this problem. Have the parent or caregiver contact their local fire department immediately. Explain the situation to them. Many fire departments offer youth firesetting prevention and intervention programs.  Those departments that don’t offer comprehensive intervention may be able to refer the parent / caregiver to another agency that does offer these services.

Youth Firesetting Program Benefits Include:

  • A contact person in your area.
  • Determination of potential level of risk for repeat firesetting incidents.
  • Fire education for the youth and their family.
  • Referrals for additional services.

What Parents and Caregivers Can Do To Reduce Firesetting

  • Supervision by adults decreases the opportunity for youth to set fires.
  • Teach children of all ages that fires, even small ones, can spread quickly.
  • Teach young children that fire is a tool, not a toy, and only used by adults.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach of children.
  • Always use fire with care and set a good example by using matches, lighters, and candles carefully.
  • Never use threats or scare tactics when talking to the child.
  • Teach children to show you when they find matches and lighters.
  • Teach older children proper techniques for using fire.
  • Point out to your children the fire safety rules you and others follow throughout the day.
  • Talk to your children about the legal consequences of firesetting.
  • Be sensitive to what the child may be feeling while addressing their firesetting behavior.
  • Provide love, comfort and compassion when talking to the child.07-05-2020 Mom&Girl

What Families Can Do To Prevent Fires

  • Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards.
  • Install and maintain working smoke alarms throughout your home.’
  • Plan and practice home fire escape drills that include two ways out from every room.
  • Install residential sprinklers in your home.

What Communities Can Do

  • Prevent firesetting in the first place by providing fire safety education from preschool through high school.
  • Raise awareness in your community about youth firesetting.
  • Form partnerships between local fire departments and private sector organizations to help support firesetting prevention and intervention programs.’
  • Support community-based programs to provide services such as fire safety education and counseling using community resources.
  • Educate parents/caregivers and all who work with children about where they can go for help about firesetting.

For Further Information:

Contact your local fire department or visit www.usfa.fema.gov or www.escapeinc.org